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Supply Chain Issues Cause Shortage Of Baby Formula, Price Hikes For Fertilizer

COCKEYSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) -- Supply chain issues are causing shortages or price hikes ranging from baby formula to fertilizer.

Valley View Farms garden shop general manager Brian Brannan told WJZ Tuesday fertilizer prices have increased in large part because of supply.

"(Nitrogen) has been really scarce to get, so that's affecting food prices," Brannan said. "The war in Ukraine has a lot to do with fertilizer prices going up."

Valley View shopper Lisa Garson has noticed soaring prices, too.

"Money's been tight-super right. Yeah, I've always been frugal. I'm not sure how much more frugal I can become," Garson said. "Hearing about Ukraine, where they provide a lot of fertilizer to the world, I'm assuming a lot of that goes to Europe."

Economists say high fertilizer prices may have an impact on the global food supply.

"There's going to be a lot to be seen this summer what happens to our food supply," Garson said. "That'll be the measure of what's happening right now."

Loyola University Maryland Associate Professor of Operations Management Dr. Ravi Srinivasan says our global economy is interconnected with so many factors at play in supply chain disruptions.

"Different supply chains may have different issues out there. And, in some supply chains, it could be multiple issues compounding each other and creating these problems," Dr. Srinivasan said. "What the pandemic has exposed is the fact we have all these issues coming together at the same time."

A recent baby formula recall has caused shortages on store shelves. Under normal conditions, the market may have corrected for a recalled product, Dr. Srinivasan said.

"Any minor disturbance is getting amplified now," Dr. Srinivasan said. "I would not expect any of these issues to be resolved in less than a week."

Dr. Srinivasan says it is a good time to reflect on your own consumer habits. It is important not to panic buy, he said. If you can, buying local is helpful, too.

"This, too, shall pass, but we all have to have a little bit of patience," Dr. Srinivasan said.

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