Russian Ban on Exports Impacts Local Farmers

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Russia says they are banning meat, vegetable, and dairy imports from the United States and other western countries for an entire year.

The Russian Prime Minister says they are doing it as retaliation for US sanctions against Russia related to their support of the Ukrainian separatists.
Last year Russia imported over $1 billion in food products from the US.

The ban on Russian products could have an impact on farmers here in Central and Northcentral Wisconsin.
Wisconsin exported about $6 million worth of products to Russia last year. The products most often exported include soybeans, animal genetics like cow embryos, and dairy products.
Its something that may hit some farmers here at home the hardest.

"We have a lot of cheese plants here in Wisconsin in general and we have a lot in Marathon County. A lot of the byproducts that we are exporting are going to be a whey product. If there is a market for that in Russia, in the whey, it is no longer going to be there." says Marathon County Dairy Agent Dr. Heather Schlesser.

Russia is currently Wisconsin's 28th largest trade partner.

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