COVID-19 has not disrupted the ag input supply chain yet, according to Bryon Parman, North Dakota State University Extension ag finance specialist. He made a presentation during a recent NDSU-hosted webinar on the impact the coronavirus on agriculture.
“Supplies continue to be there,” he said. “There haven’t been any hiccups.”
In fact, the supply chain may be in better shape this year for the Dakotas than last year when record flooding on the Missouri River brought barge traffic to a halt, he said.
Parman doesn’t expect COVID-19 to affect fertilizer or herbicide prices this year. Supplies for 2020 have already been produced and laid in, he said. Gasoline and diesel fuel prices, however, are down significantly. It remains to be seen whether how much of the savings will be passed on to farmers, he said.
Farmers probably won’t have to scramble to find enough fuel to finish planting, he said. Instead, the challenge will be to lock in the lowest price possible for all of the farm’s needs for the year.
The supply chain looks solid now, Parman concluded, but with COVID-19 things can change quickly.