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Farming supply chain issues, rising costs could lead to a more expensive grocery bill

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2021 at 7:09 PM CDT
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DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to influence communities across the state, including farmers.

That effect is trickling down to you at home.

One farmer in Dane County says supply chain issues will likely increase food prices at the checkout.

It has been tough for farmers to get the materials and equipment needed to tend their crops. If they can get them, the cost is more than they thought it would be.

One of those supplies is nitrogen which gets added to the soil to help plants grow. It is used to help with, for example, corn, soybeans, and wheat crops.

Some farmers say it’s almost double the price it cost last spring. The higher the cost for the farmer, the higher the cost they’ll have to sell it at to the consumer to make up those payments.

Several farmers are relying on other crops, like winter wheat, which consumes less nitrogen than most crops to help offset some of those costs.

“I think it’ll help because it adds more diversity to the crops, so if one market is down, then the other market, if that one is going well, it sort of evens out,” John Haag, farmer and owner of Haag Dairy LLC. said.

Farmers are beginning to plant winter wheat right now. It will protect the soil in the winter months and will be harvested in the summer or early fall.

With such a warm fall, it’s given farmers extra time to plant winter wheat. The USDA estimates the crop to be worth about $7 per bushel in 2022; that’s the highest since 2014.

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