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MN Farmers Brace For Russian Food Ban

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota farmers are bracing after Russia imposed a U.S. food ban in reaction to sanctions.

"Poultry and soybeans will probably be the biggest impact in Minnesota," Minnesota Farm Bureau president Kevin Paap said.

Exports are important for Minnesota farmers, who grow more food than they can use. The ban, which is now in effect, means even more surplus food and lost revenue.

"It's not maybe going to be make or break, but it's one piece of important trade we work with and kind of depend on," Paap said.

Minnesota Farmers Brace For Russian Food Ban

Minnesota farmers exports $329 million to Russia in meat and poultry. For soybeans, that number is $157 million.

"We will lose markets," he said.

Paap said Minnesota farmers will continue to work with everybody to export state-grown products.

"This crisis in Ukraine is one thing," he said. "We're going to continue to build trade with everything."

Paap says the real loser is the Russian consumer, who now has to pay more for products they already have because there is no exported food.

"We really wish that they wouldn't use food as a negotiating tool," Paap said.

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