MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Ukraine’s farmers are expecting to only be able to plant half their acreage, with the focus on food for their citizens, instead of corn and wheat for export markets. Collin Watters of Illinois Corn Growers says that will be felt in Illinois.

“Depending on the duration of the war in Ukraine and how it impacts their planting and growing season, we’ll see,” Watters said. “It’s such a fluid situation right now, and its really hard to forecast what is going to happen.”

We export out of Illinois about 60% of our corn. Does that mean we are going to be exporting more? Will Illinois processors be using less of our corn?

“I don’t know that Illinois processors will be using any less,” Watters said. “I would expect the US as a whole might be exporting a little bit more, but chances are we might be exporting to markets that we don’t typically serve, so in the last 10 years we really haven’t much of a presence in European markets, North Africa, Middle East. Those have been dominated by Ukrainian exports. Just recently we have seen some cargoes headed to Spain, to Egypt. These are places that are usually Ukrainian markets. We’ve already seen that happen, so we might see a little bit more of that happening but it’s going to be an incredibly competitive market. A lot of volatility, all the way around. And it does look like the Brazilians are going to have a good crop this year, their second crop is shaping up pretty well. They are expecting a record year. That may put a little bit of downward pressure on the global price, but its really tough to say right now.”

Over the weekend, Ukraine announced it had planted about one million acres of an expected 17 million acre crop. But there will be a minimal amount of corn planted, with the focus more on human foods. And Russia has begun destroying the Black Sea grain terminals at the Ukrainian port of Odessa, further reducing Ukraine’s capacity to feed traditional markets.

That’s our report from the farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA-3, your local news leader.