Calhoun County Farmers Facing A New Shortage
It’s just the latest shortage facing farmers in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties. And the rest of the country. It's a herbicide shortage. We’re being inundated with all kinds of product shortages and higher prices. Building materials have gone through the roof. Framing and siding lumber is way up in the last year. Wiring used for new home builds and renovations is another item with skyrocketing prices.
Now, farmers, and home gardeners are being hit with a shortage of herbicides. Michigan Farm News reports is a growing issue that without question is going to impact farmers looking to keep weed levels in their fields down to a manageable level this year. MFN reports part of the issue goes back to chemical dealers. They’ve hit the point of rationing many of the more popular herbicides that farmers are ordering. MFM also reports that many other key farm products like fertilizer and fungicides are also in short supply this year.
MFN talked with Matt Schwab about the issue. Schwab is a certified crop advisor for agronomic solutions provider Agri-Enterprises. He says, “Certainly, there’s a lot of concern here in the agricultural community with supply for agricultural products for the spring, summer planting season.
Schwab points out two of the more popular farm herbicides, Roundup and Liberty, are in short supply. “Farmers are questioning me about our supply. So far we've been able to fill most of our orders. However, we now have reached a point where we've had to ration our more popular weed control products such as glyphosate and glufosinate, which is Liberty.”
Just like with the toilet paper shortage hit retail stores last year due to the COVID outbreak causing a buyer’s run on TP, the same thing has been happening with herbicides. Schwab says that is forcing his retail outlet near the thumb area of Michigan to begin to ration products. “Last week we started filling orders at 50%. We already cut orders in half for some of our customers. I would suspect at some point here we'll basically be in a situation where: ‘Here's what we got today, and here's what we can sell you.’ It'll be a day-to-day basis.”
Many agricultural professionals believe the same thing will soon be happening with fungicides as farmers move to treat diseases emerging in their crops.