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Herbicide Supply Concerns in 2021 (05/06/21)

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By now I am sure that most readers of Crop and Pest Report are aware of the supply concerns of certain herbicides this spring. There are many different issues that have culminated in the tight supply of some agricultural chemicals. There are supply chain issues related to closures and reduced work forces in facilities due to COVID-19, cardboard and plastic shortages, power shutdowns at manufacturing plants in Texas during their cold snap, a shortage of truck drivers, and if I’m a betting man then the Suez Canal blockage probably didn’t help this situation.

To date, glyphosate and glufosinate have received most of the attention for tight supply chains, and for good reason – they are used on a lot of acres across the US and world. A lot of generic glyphosate and glufosinate also gets manufactured overseas, which certainly does not help in getting product into our hands. Recently, I have received some feedback that Huskie also seems to be difficult to find. Those are the top three herbicides I have heard about with regards to shortages or tight supplies, but it is not an exclusive list. There may be additional products with tight supplies as the season progresses.

My main goal in raising awareness on this issue is that I want everyone to be thinking ahead about their chemical needs. Plan A may be difficult to find and/or pricier than expected. If you don’t have the herbicides you want to apply on hand, please talk with your supplier and chemical reps to try and secure the product. Some may need to have a Plan B if these supply issues persist into the spray season. Reports across the state indicate that weeds are off to a slow start this year due to the drought, but they will eventually rear their ugly heads, and we need to make sure we have the chemicals on hand to control them.

Joe Ikley
Extension Weed Specialist