Russia's farms set for bumper wheat crop

STORY: War has thrown Ukraine’s farm exports into turmoil.

But now it looks like some of Russia’s growers could be poised to prosper amid hopes for a bumper crop.

Farmers in the southern Rostov region - one of the country’s top grain producing areas - are looking forward to a good year.

A massive wheat harvest is expected, with record amounts available for export.

Rostov First Deputy Governor Viktor Goncharov says farmers have shrugged off restrictions:

"Western sanctions have had no effect. Agricultural people mostly use tractors and harvesters that are Russian-made, from Rostselmash Combine Factory. At the same time, the region's government allocated 500 million roubles for the subsidy and purchasing of equipment."

Russia’s exports are crucial to global wheat supplies.

That’s doubly true with Ukraine’s Black Sea ports blocked since the start of fighting there.

Now the Rostov region is expected to repeat last year’s record harvest of 12.7 million tonnes of wheat.

Zernogradsky district deputy head Sergei Kushnarev says the Ukraine crisis has had some effect, however:

"The special military operation first and foremost made some types of fertilizers more expensive; it also impacted the supply of spare parts, especially imported machinery, and it also meant many farmers were anxious about problems getting sunflower seeds.”

Right now though, none of that seems set to have a big effect.

The growing conditions have been good, and the farmers in Russia’s breadbasket are headed for a bumper year.

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