Skip to comments.Far off? Russia-Ukraine clash echoes through U.S. farm belt
Posted on 04/22/2014 6:37:08 PM PDT by PieterCasparzen
WASHINGTON Americas diplomats and generals arent alone in watching the unfolding conflict between Russia and neighboring Ukraine.
Ukraine is the worlds third-largest corn exporter and sixth-largest wheat exporter. Russia is the worlds fifth-biggest wheat exporter _ and a large buyer of U.S. corn and poultry products.
This is a region where we have been facing stiff competition from Ukraine, said Thomas Sleight, the president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, which develops markets for U.S.-grown corn and sorghum. Longer term, everyone is waiting to see what effect credit availability will have on Ukrainian farmers willingness to plant and continue expanding their acreage of wheat and corn.
Before the conflict, Ukrainian corn farmers had access to loans and were on a pace to eventually rival the U.S. corn belt as well as big producers such as Brazil. The loans now come with tougher conditions.
While Russias farm sector is an important generator of revenue, the Obama administration is unlikely to target it for economic sanctions.
You dont disturb what people are fed, said Anders Aslund, a Russia expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, adding that on top of that, U.S. companies are heavily involved.
The worlds largest grain traders are U.S-based companies such as Bunge, Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, said Aslund, meaning that from a general political point of view its the least attractive thing youd like to touch.
The two countries are also an important growth market for John Deere tractors, pesticide manufacturers and high-tech seed companies such as Monsanto.
(Excerpt) Read more at mcclatchydc.com ...
Monsanto owns all of the seeds. Or at least plans to. All of these companies have too much to lose. Obama will continue to “flexible” like he promised.
Horse manure, we gleefully starve Latinos of their staple corn, so we can decrease efficiency, raise the cost, emit more pollution, and shorten engine life by requiring ethanol additive to US gasoline, with watermelon approval.
Using debt for a Ukraine farm land grab, we would do with our morning coffee.
Given that dozens of large companies, and hundreds if you include the small ones, own seed patents, you're going to struggle finding any.
BTW, no one is forced to leave the old non-patented seed behind. However, as it was in the 60's when single cross hybrids found their way to the field, no one could afford to plant the old, low producing, seed anymore.
Those old single cross seeds are still there for those who don't care about efficiency and have money to burn. The rest of the farmers are determined to make money feeding the world and will be using the best producing seed available.
Farmers decide what seed to buy. Monsanto does not have some super secret mind control device. Monsanto is among the industry leaders, but farmers have many choices. Most large farmers will plant several varieties, probably from several different companies, each year. This is because different varieties are suited for different soil types, and because farmers are always experimenting to find something that performs better than last year’s varieties. Which is why average yield continues to increase over time.
We used to be the bread basket of the world. Time to kill corn based ethanol and get rid of the EPA...