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Herbicide Shortages, Higher Prices

There's plenty of speculation that two key no-till herbicides will be in short supply and cost more for the 2022 growing season. These two herbicides are glyphosate (Roundup, plus others) and glufosinate (Liberty, plus others). 

While there may be limited supplies of other pesticides as well, a shortage of these two active ingredients poses major challenges for no-till corn and soybean production, says Bill Johnson and other Purdue University weed scientists.

The reasons for these herbicide shortages include a decline in the number of workers available to unload tanker ships at gulf ports, a lack of trucks and drivers to move chemicals from ports to U.S. formulation plants and later on to retailers, reduced supplies of essential chemical ingredients, shortages of containers and packaging, and Hurricane Ida that damaged a glyphosate production plant and took it off the production line in Luling, La.

Roundup, Similar Compounds

Besides potential herbicide shortages, it’s also going to be important to consider your herbicide costs, as glyphosate prices may increase to more than $80 per gallon this winter. 

These concerns are more of a worry for no-tillers since glyphosate is often the most frequently used herbicide with no-till. It’s even more important where cover crops need to be chemically terminated before no-tilling corn or soybeans. 

One way to reduce reliance on glyphosate is one that most no-tillers won’t like — going back to using tillage for fall and early spring weed control. This can be very effective for controlling those weeds, but is a…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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