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House Debates No Russian Agriculture Act

Russian agriculture is in Congress’ crosshairs as House lawmakers debated and were expected to pass the No Russian Agriculture Act. The Act would require the Treasury Secretary to direct U.S. officials at the IMF World Bank and other international financial groups to push for investments that reduce global reliance on Russian fertilizer and grain.

Bill sponsor and Ranking House Financial Services Democrat Maxine Waters said; “The brutality that Russia has unleashed upon the Ukrainian people is having profound effects in Ukraine and around the world. This includes significant cuts to global food supply and steep prices for countless foods and fertilizers.”

And according to Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry; “Post-invasion Russia withdrew from an agreement allowing Ukrainian grain shipments to pass through the Black Sea to international markets, thus eliminating a major competitor to Russian exports in the process. As a result, Russian agricultural exports have remained robust.”

Russia took much of the blame in 2022 for higher fertilizer and world grain prices after it invaded Ukraine and destroyed farm and port infrastructure and blocked Black Sea shipping. But by early last year, prices started to ease.

Fertilizer Institute head Corey Rosenbusch at a hearing last March said, “Fertilizer prices have come down. Farmers have taken a wait-and-see approach as we approach the spring planting season. European nitrogen plants have restarted. China has slowly begun exporting products. Russian trade flows have shifted and had a record year of exports last year.”

DTN reported average retail fertilizer prices closed out last year mixed, with six of eight major fertilizers lower at the end of December and two slightly higher. Prices from January to July fell by some 34 percent, with the drop also due to falling natural gas demand in warmer weather.

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