I don’t mean to be alarmist, but it looks like we are heading for some tough times ahead, and it’s time for producers to prepare accordingly.
Labor shortages. Rolling black-outs. The ports are full of ships unable to dock and unload. Fuel prices on the rise. Food prices are skyrocketing. Inflation is picking up again. Power outages in China. Vaccine warrants expelling employees from their jobs, resulting in a greater labor shortage. Equipment parts out of stock. New regulations. Increase in taxes. Government overtaking. Interlocks. Mandates.
The list of potential supply chain disruptions continues to grow, and it doesn’t take a scientist to see that we’re not out of the woods when it comes to the related outages, shortages, malfunctions and chaos. to the pandemic.
Back home at the ranch, these issues may seem obscure and beyond your day-to-day worries; However, our just-in-time manufacturing and delivery systems have major vulnerabilities that can and will impact consumers, retailers, packers, feeders, feeders and cow-calf producers.
While some shortages and delays in the supply chain may be only minor inconveniences, others can turn catastrophic depending on your situation.
So what can you do at home to prepare for these disruptions?
It’s time to look at six months, a year, and beyond when you review your feed and supply inventory and plan accordingly.
Don’t wait until the last minute to stock up on the essentials of your beef farm. Order early. Order in bulk. And store what you need long before you need it.
Create a checklist of what you need to operate in the coming months and prepare now. Your operation could certainly benefit from additional tax deductions with business expenses purchased in the fourth quarter. Therefore, use them as motivation to make your purchases and lock in the prices before the end of the year.
Ask yourself these questions as you prepare:
- How much forage do you have on hand?
- How long would your feed stock last if deliveries were delayed?
- What about your equipment? Do you have spare parts and essentials to make simple repairs if your dealer is out of stock and unable to repair your equipment?
- Do you have back-up equipment for power and transport in the event of a major outage?
- What about the fuel? How many months do you have in stock?
- What about the water? If a major weather event occurs, do you have more than one way to water your livestock?
- Then let’s think about generators. Are they in working order and ready to drive when needed?
- The calving season begins in December and January for some people. Do you have everything you need? Bedding? Key words? Replacement milk and colostrum?
- What does your medicine cabinet look like? What products do you need to deworm and vaccinate?
- What if we treated the disease? Do you have more on hand than you think you need? What about you and the family? Do you have all the winter gear you will need to perform any task in any weather?
- And the food ? The water? Toilet paper? As you take inventory of what’s going on outside, be sure to check the pantry for essential household items you may need to keep your family functioning even in tough situations.
When you’ve exhausted this list, think about vacations as well. Even Vice President Kamala Harris said in August that parents should buy Christmas presents early if they want things under the tree, as the Biden administration is anticipating these supply chain disruptions.
Use these questions to start your preparation. If no supply chain disruption occurs and affects your operations, you’re no worse off for wear and tear. Your operation will have what it needs and you won’t have to worry about factors beyond your control. You are now ready for anything!
Amanda Radke’s opinions are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.