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Glyphosate production down after issue with Bayer ingredient supplier

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Farmers received upsetting news today as they prepare for the upcoming growing season. According to Reuters, Bayer announced a supplier of an ingredient used in glyphosate, a widely used herbicide, has run into technical issues. The company said these issues would take about three months to resolve. 

In a letter that has now made its way to Twitter, Bayer said the issue was due to “mechanical failure” at its manufacturing plant for one of the raw ingredients. Bayer never listed the raw ingredient nor the company that produces it. 

The mechanical failure forced Bayer, which makes Roundup and Ranger Pro, to announce a force majeure situation, which clears both parties in a contract of any liabilities due to extraordinary events or circumstances out of the party’s control.

On top of the mechanical failure, the company is also dealing with supply chain issues due to the global pandemic. Supply chain issues have been a major concern for the agriculture industry this year. 

“Our supplier is on track to restore production, (and) we’ve sourced additional materials and made other mitigation efforts to help best manage this situation,” the company said in a statement.

Farmers are adjusting their plans to reduce their need for glyphosate.

One Missouri farmer spent two hours readjusting their chemical needs after the announcement this morning. Corn and soybean farmer Andrew Hulshof said, “We worked with our suppliers to rule out the need for glyphosate all together. It came down to price and availability for us.”

Roundup is the most common weedkiller in the U.S. and uses glyphosate as its active ingredient. Nearly all scientific bodies and associated research have affirmed the safety of glyphosate. However, it has been in the spotlight for multiple litigations due to health concerns around of those diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.

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