Georgia Vegetable Grower: Supply Chain Crisis a Strain That Will Get Worse

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By Clint Thompson

The current supply chain crisis is putting a strain on vegetable farmers in the Southeast. It is likely to get worse before it gets better. That’s the message that Jon Schwalls, Executive Officer at Southern Valley, sent to the U.S. House Ag Committee during testimony last week.

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Crop protection products that growers utilize and take for granted every growing season are not readily available as they once were. That’s a concern for producers heading into next season.

“People in the crop protection product business were telling me back as early as February that there would be strains on the supply chain. We started trying to secure that and then of course we saw price increases coming after that,” Schwalls testified. “Many of these chemicals that we are looking for, fungicides, bactericides and those sorts of things, are getting harder and harder to find. It’s becoming a longer period of time even if you can find them. You have the issue of the crop protection products being a lot more expensive, them not being readily available, and now it’s getting to the point where they’re not available at all or certainly not in the time period to be able to make a crop.

“It is an incredible strain that’s going to continue to get worse it appears; the strain to be able to secure these products in order for us to be able to produce a crop.”

The less products that growers have at their disposal will lead to less yields they’re going to make during harvest season.

Schwalls was joined by a panel of five other agribusiness. He and the other panelists identified for the committee how these bottlenecks are proving disruptive to producers.