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Ukrainian winter crop harvest looming, farmers may not transport grain adding to uncertainty

Roman Grynyshyn_KH_Ukraine_UNL

Ukrainian farmers are still uncertain if they’ll be able to transport grain, which could add more volatility to global markets.

Roman Grynyshyn is the founder of a Ukrainian non-profit that provides resources to producers and says harvest is less than 3 months away. “The world food security is worsening because we have this commodity, but no one is coming. We cannot either harvest or export this.  This is a really big problem.”

He tells Brownfield there are several logistical challenges like closed ports and unusable roads.

Grynyshyn says some railroads transport grain to the European Union, but rail systems change at the border forcing some producers to take matters into their own hands.  “Farmers are simply taking it with trucks to Europe. The lines at the border, they are terrible.  They can stand for at least 10 hours in the line to cross the border. But that’s to the border and then to get to the port and that’s only one load like 23 or 25 tons.”

Grynyshyn says while that’s a solution, it’s not enough because Ukraine typically exports about 20 million metric tons of crops each year.  

He says European ports are clogged and supply and demand have put pressure on shipping prices.

“We need to squeeze in with this amount of grain into their capacity. That first of all creates difficulties with them finding labor and finding the ability to (load) those ships and barges from the train.”

He says many farmers may not harvest their crops because of these issues.

The “World to Rebuild Rural Ukraine” is a non-profit organization that’s meeting with farmers, agribusinesses and land grant university extensions in the U.S. to provide resources for producers.

Roman Grynyshyn, founder of World to Rebuild Rural Ukraine:

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