March 1 2022 08:00 AM

The Ukraine invasion will have effects on farmers in that part of the world and beyond.

It honestly feels like a dizzy, dark path the conflict in Ukraine could be leading us down. Although it feels a world away, we in agriculture are all too aware of the way the world is connected. These relationships can bring both prosperity and destruction.

While it feels hard to have completely accurate information, at this point, the early global effects to agriculture are already in speculation. With all inputs already skyrocketing in price due to multiple reasons before this crisis, it almost feels like the proverbial nail in the coffin for input costs.

This is especially true when it comes to fertilizer, whose ingredients are largely supplied by Russia. What that will do to this year’s growing season is troubling. It might be a world away, but we are going to feel it from producer to consumer.

While I have run a farm through multiple natural disasters, that is nothing — I am sure — to keeping a dairy farm going in a war zone. My heart aches for the whole agriculture industry of Ukraine that is so vibrant and important.

May this conflict be brought to resolution quickly. Those videos of tractors towing tanks don’t show the reality that in just a couple of weeks, they need to be in the fields for planting. Beyond the troubles we face, may we all be able to continue to provide for this world.

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of young sons who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.