Land mines and input availability squeezing global crop production from war in Ukraine
Ukrainian farmers are facing a dangerous situation this growing season, which could further limit global crop production.
Roman Grynyshyn, a Ukrainian liaison for farmers, says Russia has been attacking agricultural land by deploying land mines. “They’ve been mining the actual fields. Now, it is another problem for the farmers to decide whether to harvest or not. You do not know whether there are mines are not. The combine might explode. We’ve had a lot of cases unfortunately.”
He tells Brownfield it happened to his friend recently. “(He) sent me photographs of his 500 horsepower Case IH tractor that exploded and good that it was that powerful of a tractor because it saved the driver from explosion.”
He says producers have been using drones to spot landmines, but after a crop has canopied it’s too difficult to identify the hazard.
And, Grynyshyn says, some crops are being used domestically to support the army. “First of all with all of their inputs they had stored that could be used for food. For example, buck weed, meat, grains like millet and so on. They’ve been serving it to the army to cook food for the army.”
Grynyshyn founded a non-profit organization called World to Rebuild Rural Ukraine that connects resources from land grant university extensions to Ukrainian farmers.