FBN report shows extreme chemical price differences in 2022

A report from the Farmers Business Network shows there was unprecedented price variation for some major ag inputs in 2022.

Chief Economist Kevin McNew says the report highlights the need for transparency in the chemical market with more online and farm delivery options. “Where the rest of the world and consumers are used to online shopping and transparency, the farm chemical space has been slow to evolve.  I think it’s making a movement in that direction that I think is beneficial to the farmer.”  

The 2023 Chemical Price Transparency Report collected more than 3,000 pricing points across 37 states accounting for 800 insecticides, fungicides and herbicides like Atrazine 4, Enlist One, Roundup PowerMAX and Clethodim 2.

He tells Brownfield the widest price difference was Dicamba. “Dicamba is a widely volatile market where farmers are all over the place in terms of what they’re paying.  From high to low it’s about 250 to 300 percent variability.”

McNew says some of the causes were supply and transportation issues that disrupted movement in the U.S. and China. 

He says while additional transparency is needed, government intervention isn’t the answer and that the free market will eventually correct.

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