Southeast Mo. farmers impacted by war in Ukraine

Heartland farmers are feeling the impact of the war in Ukraine.
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 5:10 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU County, Mo. (KFVS) - Ukraine is known for its agriculture, but the war will no doubt impact that production.

Now, farmers in the Heartland are feeling the impact.

”It’s like a chess game, you move one piece, not for what you’re looking at now, but what you’re hoping to achieve in the next two or three moves down the road,” farmer Rick Aufdenberg said.

He said he’s dealing with an unstable and unpredictable agriculture market.

“Our crops have changed, our prices. For instance, last week, Friday, soybeans were down over 70 cents a bushel, Monday it turned around, they were up almost 60 cents a bushel,” he said.

Aufdenberg said he’s stepping away from row crop farming, but he still feels the impact when it comes to feeding his cattle.

“Our feed costs have skyrocketed greatly. And the selling price has not gone up, so we are probably going to make less money this year off the cattle than we did last year,” he said.

In the Bootheel, farmer Barry Bean said he sees constant price changes with his cotton.

“For instance, pricing my cotton today, I can price my new crop cotton for a dollar two, yesterday it was down around 98 cents, a few days ago it was up a dollar-five. Those may not seem like huge fluctuations but historically we’ve occasionally gone for months at a time when cotton would trade in a 2- or 3-cent range,” Bean said.

Bean said those price changes can determine if he makes a profitable crop, and he might have to make some big decisions when it’s time to plant.

“Maybe we should plant more soybeans than cotton because we can raise soybeans a little cheaper,” Bean said.

“Plan for the worst and hope for the best,” Aufdenberg said.

Ukraine is one of the world’s largest producers of wheat and some seed oils.

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