Wheat prices are climbing again after recovering from ten-year highs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Farmers are among military draftees as the winter wheat sowing season starts.
In the first months of the war, the possibility of a Russian naval blockade threatened to cause a global food crisis, driving prices as high as S12.94 a bushel. But after the Turkey-brokered grain deal on July 22, they dropped back to pre-war levels.
Over the past three weeks, prices have increased by 11.9 percent, from S8.50 to $9.51 a bushel.
“The authorities have started to realize the seriousness of the situation,” Natalya Zubarevich, a specialist on the economy of Russian regions at Moscow State University, told Bloomberg. She said most draftees would likely come from rural areas, hitting the farm sector.
Moreover, on Tuesday (September 27, 2022), President Vladimir Putin admitted to officials that farmers are among the Russians drafted into the military.
Autumn is a busy season for farmers as they sow winter wheat for next year’s crop and harvest soybeans and sunflower seeds. Winter grain sowing has already been significantly delayed by rains this year.
Putin’s announcement of a partial population mobilization on September 21 has triggered an exodus of eligible men for Russia’s borders with Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. On Monday, Novaya Gazeta Europe cited Kremlin sources, reporting that 261,000 men had left Russia in the past week.
The head of the Georgian interior ministry said that about 10,000 Russians were entering Georgia every day, almost double the number before the mobilization announcement.