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Russian invasion of Ukraine to impact U.S. agriculture

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Posted at 8:30 AM, Mar 07, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC - Russia's invasion of Ukraine has sent shockwaves through the world's financial and agriculture markets.

Many producers in the U.S. are concerned about just how the conflict will impact agricultural inputs to grow crops this season.

International agricultural trade expert Matt Lantz, Vice President of Global Access at Bryant Christie, said the conflict will impact global agriculture.

“This certainly is not going to end fast or easy,” said Lantz. “Ukraine is the breadbasket of the former Soviet Union.”

Russia and Ukraine account for 29% of global wheat exports.

Since the start of February, global wheat prices have increased 60% in the lead up to Russia's invasion o Ukraine.

“Obviously, one of the big impacts is there's not going to be a lot of trade coming from Russia into the European Union,” Lantz explained.

“That's going to have effects on energy prices. I know people concerned about some of the fertilizer inputs that come from that region as well.”

Russia produces 13% of the global supply of fertilizer. Meanwhile, fertilizer prices have seen an increase of 41% to 174% in the last year.

National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles says the price and availability of fertilizers was a top concern for the nation's potato industry, which was gathered in Washington D.C last week.

“The fertilizer supply coming into the United States is artificially constrained by some anti-dumping tariffs on countries like Russia,” said Quarles.

“The question is what you do about them when Russia is in a shooting war with Ukraine?”

If those decades-old anti-dumping sanctions were lifted to ease the price of fertilizer, it's assumed it would greatly benefit Russia.

“If you're going to solve the anti-dumping issue by removing those tariffs, by definition, Russia is going to benefit and there's a lot of people who would have a lot of say in that,” said Quarles.

Some economists predict the increased cost of fertilizer could push consumers’ grocery bills to increase by $1,000 a month

Meanwhile, farmers are projected to lose money in producing those foods items.