Supply Chain Woes Impacting Minnesota Farmers Ahead Of Spring Planting

29 March 2022

HOWARD LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — Spring planting for Minnesota farmers is fast approaching, and they’re hoping for better weather after last year’s drought.

But as some get ready, they are finding equipment hard to come by.

As a farmer near Howard Lake, Dave Marquardt knows he can’t control the weather, but he can control how he gets ready for spring planting.

“In the last week, we had another inch of rain here and stuff, so hopefully things are looking up for this year,” Marquardt said.

But what he and others are finding out is that even the most prepared farmers are impacted by supply issues. This year things like new skid loaders and tractors are harder to come by.

“I have several neighbors who ordered a new corn planter to use this spring and stuff like that. And at this point they don’t even think they’re going to get that,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

(credit: CBS)

It’s also a first for Dave Saterbak, a manager at Midwest Machinery.

“We are getting that product, we’re just not getting it as fast as we want,” Saterbak said.

He says equipment is still coming in, and in some cases it’s just a day or two behind. But for other things, like hydraulic filters, it can take months.

“It’s just some of that just odd ball stuff where you’d think you’d have a lot of it, and that’s the stuff that’s a struggle to get,” he said.

The supply issues also extend from farm equipment to lawn equipment. Normally, Midwest Machinery would have about 100 lawnmowers on hand, but right now they only have about 40. And when these run out, they could be hard to replace.

Still, even with delays, Saterbak says they are able to get people what they need, and they will continue to make do with what they have.

“We just ask for patience, and everyone’s been OK with that so far, so everyone gets the struggle,” he said.

Saterbak says they do have a good selection of used equipment on hand, and he says customers that bought new equipment early are mostly seeing it arrive on time.

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