(The Center Square) – Nebraska farmers are starting to feel the effects of the nation's supply chain disruptions, according to Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue.
"It's probably my number one conversation these days with farmers and ranchers around Nebraska," McHargue told The Center Square.
He said one of farmers' big concerns is getting enough fertilizer and other supplies for next year's crop.
"When we start thinking about our inputs, whether it be fertilizer or crop protection needs, herbicides, the cost of those products are in some cases three times as high," McHargue said. "The ability to get the amounts we need is certainly questionable right now. If you want to lock in a price ... on some of these products, it has to be prepaid."
Farmers are also sometimes finding it hard to get parts for equipment, according to the Farm Bureau president.
"I had a farmer who told me today he needed a sensor and had to go to three different dealerships to get the sensor to get the combine running," McHargue said. "We're having to run a lot further to get parts to finish up harvest. That's a pretty common theme as well."
Some of the fertilizer products are imported from China, he said. Ports in the western U.S. have recently faced backlogs as container ships loaded with imports have been forced to wait offshore.
Supply chain issues in agriculture could potentially have more serious consequences than those in other areas, he added.
"Agriculture is critical infrastructure," McHargue said. "We are ultimately talking about our food systems here. I think there is a little higher priority that needs to be placed on ensuring that agriculture products can get moved across the country and around the world."