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Supply chain issues causing rebuilding delays for cattle producers

Fencing shortages and rising cost have creating a ripple effect in livestock industry.

North-Central Kansas rancher Ethan Dickerson tells Brownfield he began replacing fence in mid-December after a wildfire destroyed thousands of miles of fence. “We ended up getting a semi-load of barbwire out of San Antonio.  We ended up paying a pretty penny for it even though we had to pay close to double what it was worth.”

He says his ranch crew has been trying to rebuild fence, but supply chain issues are causing issues.  “Keeping them supplied has been pretty tough in terms of getting pipe for posts, wire and T-posts and doing that stuff.  A lot of that stuff has come from a long way away.  I know there have been a lot of semi loads from Texas and Oklahoma trying to find enough supplies to keep on doing this.”

Ryan Flickner with Kansas Farm Bureau says the state legislature recently passed a sales tax exemption for fencing supplies to help offset the cost of repairs. “Financially, I’m hearing somewhere certainly above $5,000 a mile up to $10,000 mile to actually replace a fence. Number one, can you get the product? Number two, financially, how many producers are able to finance that type of repair or replacement?”

Flickner says before the law was signed, the sales tax exemption could only be used if fences were destroyed by a natural disaster.

Dickerson made his comments on Brownfield’s latest weekly roundtable discussion about the 2022 Drought in the Great Plains.

  • In light of these challenges ag faces, it is paramount that independent [small business] receives financial support from federal resources. If we lift the small producers and greatly increase their numbers, our food supply will be safer and supply chain issues overcome with less frustration.

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