CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Ukrainian farmers have been feeding many countries in the Middle East for many years. But Russia’s invasion is now threatening hunger for hundreds of millions of people in that world.
Global benefactor Howard Buffett will soon make his second trip to Ukraine to ensure billions of bushels of wheat are harvested.
“You learn so much by just showing up, so I am going back in a couple weeks and we have been doing quite a bit in the last four weeks,” Buffett said. “I got pictures yesterday from John Deere, from Kinze, waiting for some from New Holland. We’re going to try to help them make sure they get the wheat harvest out because they’ve had equipment destroyed, equipment stolen, they have mines in fields so they can’t cut the wheat. We’re actually sending nine dogs down there, they’ll get there June 5th, they’ll be mining dogs, and they’re going to go into the field.”
“So we are doing a whole host of things that will affect agriculture there,” Buffet continued. “We just got off the phone this afternoon with a bunch of guys, very successful guys, in the railroad business who are helping me put a presentation together of doing some real practical solutions to how they can move some of this out by rail.”
With exported grain transportation issues addressed, Buffett said combines are needed.
“They can get it there. I told John Deere and I told Case New Holland, I said ‘I’ll take every combine you can deliver from Europe. It has to be in Europe. It has to be on the continent,'” Buffet said. “So far, we’ve got 30 combines; they are on their way, they are loaded up, they are on their way. Kinze delivered nine planters last week; they have a plant in Europe. So we are looking at solutions for temporary storage, which is going to be a huge thing because they can’t move the grain out fast enough.”
“They’ve got a big wheat harvest coming in August, so we are looking at ag bags. And we found the bags in Canada, and we can get a pretty good number of bags,” Buffet continued. “We found the loaders in Europe and they can produce more, so the only thing stopping us at this point is we have to make sure we can lay out the storage, where they want it, and if they have the space. We bought enough tractors, we can run the baggers, we have that equipment and that’s getting delivered right now. So some of these pieces can come together.”
There is a lot more to pass along from Howard Buffett, but for now that’s our report from the farm.