From the Farm: Chemical supplies for herbicides


ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Farm chemical supplies are having difficulty sourcing typical herbicides as Stu reports in Thursday’s From the Farm.

COVID-19 is being blamed for a shortfall of the popular herbicides “Roundup” and “Liberty.”

“If we are seeing any tighter supplies on those two chemicals. There’s some tighter supplies on other stuff, but most of those, the Roundup and the Liberty are the biggest two, I would say tighter supplies, or short supplies in certain areas of the country right now,” said Kevin Johnson, Interim President of Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association.

Johnson said ingredients for Roundup and Liberty are shipped from Chinese chemical factories.

“You are seeing some supply issues in China. And when I call that most of the technical stuff that is needed to make most of these chemicals, especially the glufosinates, the Liberties of the world, most of that is all produced in China,” said Johnson. So with the COVID stuff going on it has kind of slowed down, we have gone from shutting down everything to ramping up and that has been an issue. But I will also tell you transportation has been a big issue. Pretty much the ports, the Long Beach, and then Galveston Texas–where some of this stuff is coming in–for every 17 loads there is one truck driver to do it. So there is not just one issue that has come about on this, but it is a handful of issues that get it to the end user at the end of the day.

So, how does a farmer ensure he has the herbicide he needs?

“What they really need to do is talk to their ag retailer or chemical supply dealer,” said Johnson. “Have a plan of attack going into the spring season. And you really want to keep that plan of attack, I know there are times, ‘Hey we’re going to do but, but we’re going to plan B because something has changed.’ If you can keep talking to your ag retailer or chemical supplier, and say ‘Here’s my plan of attack,’ early, ‘Let’s lock these products in;’ kind of keep to that.”

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