Well, I have some good news and some bad news for you today…

The good news is ag chem supplies are freeing up, so other than Liberty/glufosinate, I don’t know of anything right now we will definitely be short on in 2023.
The bad news, unfortunately, is other than Roundup/glyphosate going down in price, almost everything else will likely be flat or 5% to 10% higher.
A year ago, I expected prices would be coming back down on almost everything as supplies would get back to normal. While we will have more product available, at this point I don’t believe supplies will be fully back to normal for another year and possibly two. The biggest reason prices are going up, though, is because almost all costs have risen dramatically in the last year for every manufacturer. Energy, labor, transportation, raw materials, interest, and almost everything else has gone way up. I had a conversation this spring with the head of one of the major ag chem companies in the U.S., and here’s what he said: “Brian, every month I look at our COGS (cost of goods sold), and it goes up from the previous month. This is happening month after month, so we have no choice but to raise our prices.”

I’m not trying to defend the companies for the price increases you will see, but inflationary costs are impacting all businesses today. Our only hope as farmers is that our commodity prices remain high so we can absorb these cost increases.
Now, as I talk about all this, even if you were spending $50 on ag chem in 2022, the odds are slim you will be investing more than $55 in 2023 for the same thing. In other words, as a percentage of total farm expenses, the increase you are likely to see on crop protection products this coming year will be very minimal.

Over the last year, we have seen pretty much all the ag chem manufacturers change their standard policies from what they’ve been for the last 50 years. Most will no longer guarantee a price if you prepay and take later. Most are dropping price protection. While I expect these things to come back a year or two down the road, the conditions we are dealing with today are certainly unique in the 31 years I’ve been working full time at Hefty Seed Company.
Because of these changes and the continuing concerns many people have had about supplies, we’ve already been loading up our warehouses, so we’ll have a lot of product available in September if you want to pick product up early so you at least know your cost and you eliminate your risk of not getting the products you want.
Finally, if you aren’t sure if you will need the tax deduction in this year versus next year, we work with lots of farmers each season to either send them money back or receive more money from them so their expenses are at the correct level on December 31. Just talk to one of our agronomists or e-mail me if you have questions about that. We would really appreciate your business, whether it’s in September, December, or any month of the year.