Herbicide shortages may add to rising grocery prices

LAYFAYETTE, Ind, – Higher prices at the grocery store are likely to come and while experts say supply chain disruptions are primarily to blame, another issue is growing closer and closer to us.

Herbicide shortages are already making next year’s growing season difficult for Josh Cox and 90,000 other Hoosier farmers.

Cox is a seventh generation farmer at Wildcat Valley Farms, where he grows crops like corn, soybeans and wheat.

“The prices have tripled,” Cox said. “The fertilizers are in the same boat. They’ve probably increased the price of what the herbicides have by four to five times. “

“Due to supply chain issues and the pandemic, we are seeing a shortage of the most common herbicides we use in corn and soybean production,” said Bill Johnson, PhD, professor of weed control. at Purdue University.

Johnson says two of the most widely used active ingredients, glyphosate and glofosinate, are in short supply, pushing up prices for farmers.

“If we spend more on inputs, like herbicides, it generates a lot of income that farmers in our state don’t,” Johnson said.

This translates into higher prices at the grocery store and lower income in areas heavily impacted by agricultural income.

“A lot of the corn and soybeans produced in the state are for livestock, so we’ll definitely see an increase in the cost of meat products and other corn and soy products,” Johnson.

Farmers say there are alternatives to the ingredients, but they are not as effective and may require more skill to apply.

“I think there are ways to handle it, but it will be outside of our comfort zone,” Cox said.

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