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Rising gas, fertilizer, and grain prices, and no end in sight – the Ukraine crisis and agriculture

Westlands Water District website
Ryan Jacobsen is the CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau.
Fresno County Farm Bureau
Ryan Jacobsen is the CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau.

In the U.S., one very tangible impact of the war in Ukraine has been the astronomical rise in gas prices. But the reverberations of that crisis can be felt far beyond fuel and energy – and they’re especially apparent in food production. Russia’s invasion has complicated the region’s vast exports of nitrogen-based fertilizer, and Ukraine, which is one of the world’s largest wheat producers, recently banned wheat exports in order to protect its domestic food supply.

What do these changes mean to U.S. food production, and agriculture specifically within the San Joaquin Valley? In this interview, KVPR’s Kerry Klein sat down with Ryan Jacobsen, CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau, to learn more.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.