Price increases and shortages are a stiff reality as farmers plan for the 2022 growing season. While there has been much discussion about the price increase and supply of glyphosate, another widely-used herbicide — Liberty (glufosinate) — can be added to the long list of products seeing a price hike.

BASF isn’t expecting issues with the supply of Liberty, but the company was recently informed of a “substantial increase to our cost of goods for glufosinate ammonium-containing products,” Brent Galbraith, Canola Herbicide Brand Manager for BASF, tells RealAgriculture. “This increase is primarily driven by increased phosphorous, solvent and adjuvant prices.”

The price increase for 2021 was initially set at 8 per cent but after the above news became reality, BASF decided to adjust by 25 per cent over last year’s suggested retail price.

“As a result, BASF has increased the price of Liberty 150 for the 2022 season, so that we can continue to supply this essential herbicide to the Canadian market,” notes Galbraith.

The increased price of Liberty is just one of many issues retailers and farmers are challenged by for the 2022 season, notes Darren Blair of Blair’s Ag in Saskatchewan.

“This is the beginning of supply chain issues that will take some time to work through. Input costs are rising at a ridiculous rate right now — fertilizer, fuel, iron — and chemistries are no exception to this. It’s no different than seeing glyphosate prices double since spring,” he says.

There are generic glufosinate options on the market but Blair feels those prices may also face escalation pressure “as BASF still steers the market and bundles Liberty with the rest of the portfolio into grower programs to ensure their market share.”

In talking to numerous farmers over the past few weeks, much of the attention has been paid to glyphosate and fertilizer prices. There has been less discussion and information available regarding price increases for Liberty and other crop protection products, likely due to the fact it is still early in preparing for the 2022 growing season.

There was some concern that Liberty would be in short supply in Canada in 2020, but BASF prevented the situation due to capital investments in manufacturing. Liberty for the Canadian market is produced in Regina, Sask.

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