As winter sets in, West Point farmer Allen Bennett balances his books, orders seed and repairs boxes used to store onions.
Last winter, he also dried corn. The moisture content in corn shipped to Ogden by Wyoming farmers was too high, so Bennett was hired by the mill to run it through his natural gas-powered dryer.
"They've got supposedly 12,000 bushels," he said at the beginning of March. "That's nine to 11 semi loads."
Running the dryer, sometimes until midnight for days at a time, can push Bennett's monthly gas bill to as high as $7,000. "The gas company loves us," he said.
He makes almost nothing drying corn for neighbors, he says, and about $82.50 a ton when he hires out to dry corn for the mill. He estimates that's about $10 to $15 an hour for his time.