The pandemic might be winding down, but its effects on the ag supply chain are still ramping up.
Herbicides and fungicides are the latest to face supply constraints due to pandemic production delays, shipping bottlenecks, and increased demand.
While the popular glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides are getting the most attention, several fungicides are facing shortages as well.
The backstory: Abrupt, emergency shutdowns in China at the beginning of the pandemic kicked off supply issues. Glufosinate and glyphosate, among other chemistries, are produced in China or have ingredient sources overseas.
And China is looking out for #1…China. This means American farmers are put last in line for the much-needed inputs. Not a great scenario with expanding acres and sky-high commodity prices fueling demand.
In some instances in the U.S., where producers didn’t prepay, RaboResearch notes that prices are up 50%.
Crunch time: In response to the glufosinate shortage, BASF noted they were even beginning to expedite shipping using air freight rather than traditional ocean-bound containers.
Where this goes: Some farmers may have to use unfamiliar alternatives to their preferred chemistry, including generics. And farmers may have to phone-a-friend, or several, to find supply before this all gets resolved. Experts are projecting issues to be sorted out by Q2 of 2022.