Battle in the Breadbasket Rages On

Mar 18, 2022

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its fourth week, the humanitarian crises are mounting. 

And as the world watches, the state of agriculture remains a grave concern upon the steppe.

Planting prognosis: On Tuesday, agriculture analysts at APK-Inform noted that, because of the conflict, the spring planting area was expected to be down nearly 7.5M acres from last year… a whopping 39% drop.

With Ukraine being a top commodities exporter, that reality is sending shockwaves across the world.

Hitting hard at home: Largely due to the uncertainty created by the war, grain prices are on the rise and U.S. livestock producers are among the economic collateral damage.

As John Hansen, the president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, noted: “The longer this war goes on, the more ranchers and farmers who raise cattle will be put out of business.”

Poultry products panic: After having to close multiple farms, one of Ukraine’s largest ag companies announced it’s now producing 40% fewer eggs. 

And after a fire caused by Russian shelling demolished the nation’s largest frozen food storage warehouse, $8.5M worth of frozen chicken was destroyed.

Where this goes: Regional food security is a major concern, and even as they ban the export of staple crops, Russian officials are adamant there is “no risk” of food shortages in the aggressor’s country. 

But as the spring sowing season begins, the message released by Ukraine’s parliament to their citizens is clear:

“The food security of the whole state is on the shoulders of Ukrainian farmers.”