Nebraska farmers struggle for farm equipment amid pandemic


LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Farmers in Nebraska have struggled to install farm equipment on their soil since the start of the pandemic. Now, with the John Deere strike, farmers are worried about the long-term effects it could have.

“Supply chain disruption has become a problem for us as we talk about spare parts and chips, for combines, tractors and implements of all kinds,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of Nebraska Corn Board. “Now, with the potential for some of the strikes continuing, this concerns us in the longer term in terms of building the equipment next year. “

We are halfway through harvest season in Nebraska and a shortage of farm equipment has caused some local farmers to change where they source from and how they do their jobs.

A supply and demand problem brought on by the pandemic has caused serious delays in the big gear you see crawling through the fields of Nebraska.

“We have producers who have had combines on order for a while – who use combines a year or two ago just because they couldn’t get the parts for a new combine. to finish building it, ”Brunkhorst said.

The concern is with the unknown.

Future parts and repairs for the next planting season in April could suffer and leave farmers with old equipment and technology.

Additionally, John Deere employees who are currently on strike for higher wages could stall these products for even longer if walkouts continue for the foreseeable future.

All of this, combined with the pandemic, has caused farmers to pay more out of their own pockets.

“The disruption in the supply chain has really pushed up a lot of input prices, so when we look at fertilizers, we look at seeds, chemicals, all this disruption in the world has really pushed those prices up,” he said. said Brunkhorst. “As we look to 2022, in our planting season next year, our input prices will increase significantly from this year. And that really caused a lot of concern.

If things continue like this, you could potentially spend more money on some of your favorite groceries in the future.

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