How will Ukraine invasion affect Nebraskans?

Nebraskans can expect fuel prices to rise, while farmers will be faced with tough decisions this growing season.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have several implications on the global marketplace, including here in Nebraska.

“I think it’s definitely going to affect us, a couple different ways,” Nebraska Farm Bureau president Mark McHargue said.

McHargue says the three areas where the Ukraine invasion will affect Nebraska farmers the most are:

  1. Fuel prices
  2. Fertilizer availability
  3. Commodity prices

“There’s no doubt that this political situation is going to affect agriculture and there’s going to be some winners and losers in that conversation relative to agriculture,” McHargue said.

Russia is the world’s third biggest exporter of oil and a high-volume fertilizer producer.

After the Ukraine invasion, U.S. oil prices jumped to their highest levels since 2014 at over $100 a barrel before settling at around $92 a barrel.

“The input costs have definitely all went up across the board, so that’s concerning,” University of Nebraska-Lincoln agricultural economics professor Cory Walters said.

Ukraine is the world’s fourth largest corn producer and its third largest wheat producer.

If Ukraine is unable to export these commodities due to the war, other countries could turn to the United States for them, which would raise their value.

Walters says it poses an interesting decision for farmers.

“Right now, we’re being offered really nice prices for new crop commodities, whether that’s corn, soybeans, wheat, it’s all really nice, but we still have to go through a growing season,” Walters said. “If there’s any type of production issues, then [farmers] can’t fulfill those contracts.”

Amid the uncertainty of the Ukraine invasion and the ramifications it will have on the global economy, one thing is clear. The impact will be felt in Nebraska.

“Nebraska is an ag state,” McHargue said. “We’re the largest business sector and the largest employer in the state. And so if it’s going to affect agriculture, it’s going to affect Nebraska about as much as any other state in the country.”

From a consumer perspective, Nebraskans can expect increases in gas prices and perhaps in the grocery store as well.

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