Parts and labor remain challenging to ag manufacturers

An agricultural equipment manufacturer says good labor and component quality remain challenging, but the outlook is improving.  Dennis Nuhn with Ontario, Canada-based Nuhn Industries tells Brownfield they make as many of their components as possible because every manufacturer has had trouble with bad components since the pandemic. When it comes to new component failure, Nuhn says, “Pre-COVID, you’d have maybe one percent. Now, ten percent is kind of the norm.”

Nuhn believes when a large number of mature and experienced workers decided to retire a couple of years ago, it affected the quality of work. “So, there was this massive drain of knowledge, plus they had a work ethic, so that’s gone. Poof. And, I think that’s why there’s a lot of inferior parts, and I don’t care what you manufacture, everybody will tell you you’ll get a lot of bad components.”

Nuhn says his family has invested millions of dollars in automation so they can put their skilled workers where they are needed most, and he says rural people know how to work. “Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of good people coming in the door, and it’s actually better quality than pre-COVID and I think a lot of them have realized that the free ride isn’t going to last forever so they’re looking for a good, solid job.”

Nuhn manufactures manure handling equipment including alley scrapers and lagoon pumps.  Dennis Nuhn spoke to Brownfield during the recent WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

AUDIO: Dennis Nuhn discusses everything from the history of the family’s company to parts and labor issues with Brownfield’s Larry Lee during the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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