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Turmoil in Ukraine adversely affecting Virginia farmers

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is impacting global grain exports and production, oilseeds, fertilizer and petroleum, and is creating volatility for Virginia farmers.

“Ukraine is a country that’s sensitive to shipping and sensitive to agricultural production,” noted Robert Harper, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation grain manager. “Ukraine is one of the top five corn producers in the world.”

Harper said that more than 1 billion bushels of corn are exported from Ukraine, but because of the conflict, that crop will not be planted this year. “This is creating extreme volatility in the futures markets,” he explained.

Qu Dongyu, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, wrote in a Morning Ag Clips op-ed that Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat, and Ukraine is the fifth largest. Together, they supply 19 percent of the world’s barley, 14 percent of wheat and 4 percent of corn, making up more than a third of global cereal exports.

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