November 30, 2020

Take a Virtual Trip to Ukraine

Located in Eastern Europe, Ukraine shares its borders with seven countries, including Russia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. It is partially bounded by two bodies of water, most notably, the Black Sea.

• Ukraine is about the size of Texas, and nearly 70% of the country’s total land area is classified as agricultural. The country has mainly flat and rolling terrain with fertile plains that are heavily farmed.

• The climate of Ukraine is roughly similar to that of Kansas. The weather is suitable for both winter and spring crops. Average annual precipitation in Ukraine is approximately 24 inches.

• Winter wheat, spring barley, corn, sunflowers, and sugar beets are some of the primary crops grown in Ukraine, which is considered the breadbasket of the region.

• Ukraine agriculture has been evolving since the nation achieved independence in 1991, following the breakup of the Soviet Union. State and collective farms were officially dismantled in 2000. Farm property was divided among the farm workers in the form of land shares, and most new shareholders leased their land back to newly formed private agricultural associations.

• The sudden loss of state agricultural subsidies had an enormous effect on every aspect of Ukrainian agriculture, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Ag Service. Fertilizer use fell by 85% in a 10-year period, and grain production fell by 50%. Farms were forced to cope with aging, inefficient machinery because no funds were available for capital investment. However, the emergence from the Soviet-style command economy enabled farmers to make increasingly market-based decisions regarding crop selection and management.


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