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Ag Informer – Key Herbicides in Short Supply

From drought to supply chain issues, weed control proved to be a nightmare this past season. A leading weed scientist expects similar challenges in the new year, especially when it comes to herbicides in short supply.

“One of the things that I would look back on from last year was the lack of certain herbicide options to shortages. Input prices are high, but coupled with that are all kinds of supply chain issues and everything else,” says Kevin Bradley, University of Missouri Extension weed scientist. “At the farmer level, that meant a lot of people weren’t able to spray what they had intended to spray.”

The battle against weeds is a ongoing challenge every year. However from Palmer amaranth to tough-to-control waterhemp, 2022 did provide some key lessons during the growing season. And based on conversations he’s having, Bradley expects herbicide availability to be an issue again in 2023.

“Quite frankly, everything I’m hearing from retailers, economists and everyone else is that we’re probably in for more of the same next year with regard to that,” says Bradley. “So, as you look at that, then you may not be able to get option A and you’ll have to go to option B and option C.”

He says it created a difficult situation for many farmers who weren’t prepared to go to option C in 2022. But heading into next season, he implores farmers to have multiple back-up plans.

“I think you should, plan, plan, plan,” says Bradley. “Have an option A, an option B and an option C. What I saw go wrong among some people at the last second, they called saying, ‘I couldn’t get this. What do I do now?’ As we all know, the traits in the field usually dictate the herbicides we’re going to spray. And if you didn’t plan for some option B, you were usually in big trouble.”


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