Nebraska farmers struggling to get farming equipment amid pandemic

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska farmers have struggled to get farming equipment on their soil since the pandemic started. Now with the John Deere strike, farmers are concerned with the long-term effects this could bring.

“Supply chain disruption became more of an issue for us as we talk about parts and chips, for combines, tractors, implements of all kinds,” Kelly Brunkhorst, the Executive Director of the Nebraska Corn Board said. “Now with the continuation of the potential for some of the strikes, that concerns us longer-term in regards to building for next year’s equipment.”

We’re about halfway through harvest season in Nebraska and a shortage in farming equipment has caused some local farmers to change where they get their supplies and how they do their job.

A supply and demand issue brought on by the pandemic has caused some serious delays in the big equipment you see crawling the fields in Nebraska.

“We have producers that have had combines on order for some time – that are using year or two-year-old combines just because they couldn’t get the parts for a new combine to finish out the build for it,” Brunkhorst said.

The concern is with the unknown.

Future parts and repairs for the upcoming planting season in April could take a hit and leave farmers with old equipment and technology.

Also, John Deere employees now on strike for higher wages could stall those products even longer if the walkouts continue for the foreseeable future.

All of this combined with the pandemic has caused farmers to pay more out of pocket.

“The supply chain disruption has really caused a lot of input prices to go up, so as we look at fertilizers, we look at seeds, chemicals, that whole disruption worldwide has really caused those prices to go up,” Brunkhorst said. “As we look at 2022, in our planting season next year, our input prices are going to be way up, compared to this year. And that’s really caused a lot of concern.”

If things keep going this way, you could potentially be spending more money on some of your favorite groceries in the future.

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News