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How are supply chain issues impacting farmers?

One says it's been a "mess"
Posted at 6:50 PM, Nov 22, 2021

ATLANTIC, Iowa. (KMTV) — Farmers have a lot to worry about over the holiday season.

"It's not only the shipping delays — and the issues that's created — but that could cause a drive down in crop and livestock prices and drive up the cost of farmers' machinery," Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce's Drew Kamp said.

Creighton University Economics Professor Ernie Goss says herbicides, fertilizer and livestock feed are all items that are difficult to get to the farms.

"Farmers are being squeezed on both the output and the input area, and it's having some, I won't say dire consequences, it's not dire but it's certainly not good — farmers could be making a heck of a lot more money right now," Goss said.

Zak Kennedy, a farmer in Southwest Iowa, says supply chain issues have affected his business in terms of parts, increasing costs of gas and fertilizer.

"Realistically, we're short of parts, chemicals and along with that, the inflation that's come along with it. Prices are going up and we're still having a hard time, getting some of the things we need to do business," Kennedy said.

Kennedy says he's had to wait two to three months to get certain parts for a semi or tractor — putting him in a bind.

"The shipping and transportation side of what we do out here has been very backed up. It's hard to get trucks, a lot of our livestock haulers have switched to hauling freight because there's backlog there too," Kennedy said. "It's affecting everybody out here, it's a frustrating deal."

Kennedy has had to rethink the way he conducts business — finding ways to stay ahead of the "stressful season."

"There's some days you can't call your local supplier and get a set of tires for pickup or tractor so you need to be thinking ahead and hope you don't have an emergency in the meantime. But we're carrying a lot more inventory than we've ever had in the past, so we've got it if we need it," Kennedy said.

The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce says farmers should set aside a "rainy day fund" to prepare for the market's uncertainties.

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