NC farmers will brace for possible impact of Russian attack on Ukraine


GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – Pitt County is known for its agricultural land. As the harvest season starts this month and the crisis in Ukraine continues, local farmers are already trying to adapt.

“In this situation, the natural gas pipeline passes through Ukraine. If that’s restricted and we don’t have access to it when making fertilizers, it can have a big impact on what happens to us on the farm,” said Mitch Smith, agriculture extension agent for the NC Cooperative Extension Service in Pitt County.

Farmers have been advised to test soil samples to see what fertilizers they really need. But not only the fertilizer is affected.

“Wheat is probably the most important commodity affected by this current conflict. Russia is the world’s number one wheat exporter, and Ukraine is number five,” Smith said. “As a result, that will affect prices in relation to what is being sold.

“And other countries, if you have higher prices, other countries will react and they plan, try to take advantage of this market. So that’s a huge problem right now, but really higher input costs will hurt farmers’ profitability.”

Smith said there could be a new soybean trend in the next few months due to fertilizer restrictions. Soybeans make their own nitrogen instead of relying heavily on nitrogen fertilizer like other plants.

“We know that we need a certain amount of fertilizer. We know that fuel prices have increased as a result of the conflict in Ukraine,” Smith said. “So this is going to be a difficult season for our producers and we are trying to adapt to these changes as they occur. Given the current conflict that we have, it’s very difficult to know where we will be in six months.”

Although farmers know this will be a difficult season, Smith said they have advised farmers to make informed decisions in hopes of having a successful harvest season. NC farmers will brace for possible impact of Russian attack on Ukraine

Russell Falcon

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