Due to the seasonal nature of buying and manufacturing farm equipment, tool makers and retailers only began to really feel the effects of supply chain issues related to the pandemic until the end of 2020 and spring 2021.
“It’s getting very difficult to install new equipment, and it probably started, for the most part, in the spring of this year and from then on,” said Mark Roberts of Benes Service in David City.
A full-service farm dealer, Benes sells new and used farm equipment and parts, but the problem persists for manufacturers up the supply chain, at least for Gordon Kosch. Kosch is part of a family owned haymaking equipment manufacturing company in Columbus, the Kosch Company, incorporated in 1947.
“We started to see price increases coming in pretty hard before the end of (2020),” Kosch said. “Our product is mainly used in June, July, August and after that it starts to decrease because they have finished haymaking. Then we are in our planning stages, looking at what we are going to build and what we need for. manufacture our product, and that’s when we started to see the extreme increases in material prices. ”
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It’s not just the prices, however.
“It’s the availability of the components to put it all together,” said Roberts. “It can be anything from raw materials and computers to tires and batteries. Every day you don’t know what they’re going to run out of to make something and put it together. “
The provenance of a product does not seem to matter either. Roberts said he buys from warehouses in many parts of the world, but delays and availability are issues regardless of their distance.
These days, Roberts said, a product’s expected arrival date doesn’t mean anything. Kosch said the same.
“There is a gearbox that is essential to our product,” Kosch said. “It was supposed to be here in February. They moved it in April, then they moved it in June. Well, in June we should have had our product to our resellers and end users.
The inability to obtain equipment and spare parts is also of great concern to producers.
“A lot of pieces of equipment are getting scarce, and even … trucking companies are struggling to find parts for their trucks to keep them running,” Butler County farmer Daniel Hilger said during ‘an event held on November 8 at the Platte County Extension Office, 2715. 13th Street in Columbus. “Those two things are going to be a major factor in the coming year, I think. How long this is going to last, I don’t know. I hope not too long.”
Even second-hand equipment – which Benes usually gets through a trade-in – is harder to find.
“The opportunity, if it’s a good one, goes pretty quickly,” said Roberts.
Roberts added that old and new equipment can also be cannibalized for parts.
“The new stuff (this is where) we do more cannibalization because we can put new pieces back in if we have a new piece sitting here,” Roberts said. “We will do everything we can to keep everyone running.”
Molly Hunter is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Contact her by email at [email protected]