“The rising cost of inputs is the main thing on people’s mind and availability of supplies. How soon do you have to order stuff like vaccines for cattle to make sure you get them on time? It’s a bit nerve-wracking. You try to get ahead of the game but just one thing can hold you up.”
“Input costs, that’s a huge thing. Whether it’s fuel or whether it’s planting, fertilizer, chemicals, it’s all the input costs that have just skyrocketed.
“We don’t know what’s coming yet for the input costs…. It’s still all up in the air. You talk to different people and you hear that fertilizer is going to be three times the price, or you talk to your suppliers and they say don’t worry about it. The unknown is what we’re trying to brace ourselves for.”
Mount Forest, Ont.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty out there (due to Covid). Shutdowns would be catastrophic if it affects the people who supply us with chicks or feed or other inputs. If there is a problem in the processing plants and they have difficulty picking up our chickens we will have all kinds of issues.”
“The uncertainty around labour is a big concern, again, especially with Omicron. Our core crew (of foreign workers) is vaccinated but we need to hire others and we don’t know what their status will be coming off the plane. If there are breakthrough cases we could get shut down. We don’t know what the rules will be. They keep changing and we need to pivot quickly.”
Delhi, Norfolk County, Ont.
“Luckily we managed to forward-buy most of our input costs, but we have fertilizer doubling or tripling in cost. With something as simple as doing maintenance on tractors, it’s getting difficult to source parts and filters. The nerve-wracking part is that crop prices are very good right now, but if you lock in your entire crop with inflated input costs, then crop prices might turn around.”
“The biggest challenge is trying to keep our costs down. Of course, everyone’s talking fertilizer going through the roof, but I think it would be a poor time to cut back on inputs with the prices of the crops. We bought all our potash last fall and applied it on the farm, so we’re not in problems there. Our phosphorus levels are good. The only thing we haven’t got locked up is nitrogen, which is very high …
“We’re in very good shape, but I think input costs will be our biggest problem that we see in ’22, not only in fertilizer but in chemicals and fuel.”
Beef and crop farmer