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Ukrainian farmers visit area

(Dean Atkins of Atkins Seed Service discusses ag with Ukrainian farmers)

CHENOA – A group of farmers from Ukraine toured Central Illinois earlier this week to learn about our farms and the technology used to plant and raise crops.

Precision Planting hosted the growers from Ukraine, who made many stops, including Atkins Seed Service near Chenoa along with a farm operated by Dale and Dean Atkins a few miles to the south.

“They visited the Tremont facility, they’ll visit the Pontiac research farm and then we’ll be at the Farm Progress Show,” explained Eric Huber, East Central Illinois region manager for Precision Planting.

Volodymyr Antonyuk is a commercial agronomist for Precision Planting in Ukraine and appreciates the different trials the company is doing at the Pontiac research farm with commercial agronomist Jason Webster.

“In Ukraine, we have a lot of corn and sunflowers with cereals like winter wheat,” Antonyuk explained.

Antonyuk admits things aren’t so easy in Ukraine with the ongoing conflict with Russia. Due to the fighting, stuff has been left on the ground meaning some of the farmland cannot be used for several years.

“Lakes came because of bombing by aircraft or other stuff,” said Antonyuk.

Since farmers in Ukraine could not sell crops due to logistics, there are still seeds in storage from 2021. It tends to be easier to transfer grain from western Ukraine, closer to the border.

“Each of us need to support our family and pay a salary to workers.”

Russian rockets can reach anywhere in Ukraine, something that is on the minds of many.

“It’s not just about farmers, it’s about all of us,” noted Antonyuk.

The group had to obtain special permits to leave their country which involved special documents and plenty of preparation time, according to Antonyuk.


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