WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The rain may be keeping farmers from working right now, but once it dries up, a shortage of parts will still keep some stuck in the truck.
Ralf Ohl has farmed with his brother in Conway Springs for nearly 50 years. He said the supply for replacement parts has dried up.
“We’re down to one machine, and if your machine goes down, we’re done till we get it back in the field,” said Ohl.
Ohl said he finished harvesting last week, but now, he’s waiting on parts before he can start planting milo.
“Sometimes, it’s a challenge to get them fixed and find somebody to work on them,” he said.
Matt Helten, the owner of a repair shop in Wichita, said the delay is affecting many farmers and shops. He said he’s never seen anything like it.
“Hard to get, hard to find, I usually get them in a week or less, sometimes it’s two months, three months to get them,” said Helten. “Some of them, there’s just nothing out there, and I have no ETA on when we’ll see them.”
KSN’s Ag Analyst, John Jenkinson said manufacturers are struggling to catch up with demand, following the shutdown. He said farmers may have to make parts themselves or rent equipment.
“Their hands are really really tied until we start to fill the supply chain and get these parts houses back to 100%,” said John Jenkinson.
Both Helten and Ohl said they’re trying to prepare by getting their hands on extra parts in case something breaks down.
“We try to stock and order as much as we can, and anticipate parts that guys are going to need and keep it on the shelf and keep it ordered and hope that it shows up before somebody needs it,” said Helten.
“I did get some parts today, some I didn’t, oh well, life goes on,” said Ohl.
Helten said he has received calls from all across the world, even from Canada and Australia. He said his only recourse at this time is to wait.