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by Keith Good, U Of Illinois' FarmDoc project

Michael Schwirtz, Andrew E. Kramer and Michael Levenson reported on the front page of Sunday's New York Times that, "President Vladimir V. Putin warned on Saturday that crippling economic sanctions imposed by the West were 'akin to a declaration of war,' as the Russian military pummeled civilian targets and continued shelling near the first protected routes intended to allow besieged Ukrainians to flee, apparently violating a cease-fire that had been agreed to only hours earlier."

On Friday, Bloomberg writer Megan Durisin reported that, "Global food prices jumped to a record last month, just as Russia's invasion of Ukraine started causing chaos in global crop trading that will likely push costs up even more.

"A United Nations' index of costs was already near a peak set in 2011 before the war disrupted exports out of the Black Sea region that's known as the world's breadbasket. Since then, grain and vegetable-oil prices have rocketed to fresh records or multiyear highs, piling more inflationary pressure on consumers and governments and threatening to worsen a global hunger crisis."

The Bloomberg article pointed out that, "'Concerns over crop conditions and adequate export availabilities explain only a part of the current global food price increases,' Upali Galketi Aratchilage, an economist at the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, said in a report. 'A much bigger push for food price inflation comes from outside food production, particularly the energy, fertilizer and feed sectors.'"

Regarding the importance of fertilizer, Wall Street Journal writers Luciana Magalhaes and Samantha Pearson reported on Saturday that, "Brazil is searching for new fertilizer suppliers as the war in Ukraine threatens to cut off shipments to one of the world's breadbaskets, with potential ripple effects on already high global food inflation."

To read the entire report click here.

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