Overcoming Chemical Supply Issues
Supply chain issues have become a global phenomenon over the past 18+ months, and agriculture is beginning to feel some real supply effects that could impact your 2022 decision-making.
The Liberty Domino Effect
Liberty brand and other glufosinate version herbicide demand have had a massive resurgence in the past two to three years. The resurgence is partially due to new soybean trait options, including glufosinate tolerance such as Enlist E3 and XtendFlex. At the same time, the Xtend herbicides have had several label changes, making these products difficult to use across a wide spectrum of acres reliably. Glufosinate has also dealt with global production issues that have limited the supply and ability to meet this fast-rising demand. The perfect storm of massive demand with supply issues has left agriculture at a deficit of glufosinate products for 2022. It also creates a significant domino effect as farmers search for alternative options.
Weed Resistance Pressure
Weed resistance to current key herbicides such as glyphosate (Roundup type products) has fundamentally changed how we manage weeds over the past 5+ years. Today, we are faced with increasing weed resistance issues to mesotrione (Callisto type products) and PPO’s (Flexstar type products), making effective and inexpensive weed control increasingly difficult to achieve. The hope was that adding the dicamba trait in soybeans and more glufosinate trait additions would help solve the control issue while keeping costs under control. Still, as mentioned above, a series of events has changed this scenario for the time being.
The Cost of Weed Control
Prices of most chemicals will be higher in 2022; some will be relatively minor increases in price while others will be significantly higher. In this scenario, it can be natural to become emotional and frustrated and focus on the product price, but consider all the costs before making your business decisions for 2022.
Many years’ worth of university and supplier company studies and data prove that poor weed control can limit yields. The risk of growing a crop in 2022 is higher with the increased input price and increased grain commodity price, which means effective weed control is arguably more important now than ever. 2022 will be the year to focus on effective control, not lowest cost production, which may mean using higher rates of specific products despite the larger upfront investment.
If you have any questions or need help planning for 2022, please talk to your local FCS Agronomist today.