Kansas farmers face volatile wheat prices due to war in Ukraine

“The last two days you’ve taken the markets as high as they can to the limit, and then today everything went down to the limit,” Kerschen said.

Russia and Ukraine are two of the largest wheat exporters in the world. If this production is cut short, either because of war damage or economic sanctions, it could significantly reduce global wheat supplies. This means that back home, Kansas farmers could see a significant increase in the price at which they can sell their wheat.

Allen Featherstone, head of agricultural economics at Kansas State University, says the prices present “plenty of profit opportunities, at least for the 2022 crop.”

But there is another side to this; Russia is a major fertilizer producer and exporter. Any drop in exports could worsen the shortages that Kansas farmers are already facing. Kerschen says it could get so bad “you could have 2 to 2.5 times the cost of your fertilizer.”

With the war in Ukraine still in its infancy, it may be some time before farmers know exactly what they are dealing with, according to Featherstone. “I think by mid-March to the end of April, I think we’ll have a better idea of ​​what the ultimate effects are.”

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