Article by: Hari Yellina
Grain prices are skyrocketing as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and Australian farmers have pledged to contribute back to the country that is normally a global rival. Grain Producers Australia, a national advocacy group, has initiated the Grain4Ukraine fundraising appeal, encouraging farmers to give grain, fly the Ukrainian flag on farm machinery, and share photos on social media during this year’s seeding season, which has just begun in Western Australia. Andrew Whitelaw, a member of Grain Producers Australia’s subcommittee and a grain expert, said Australian farmers wished to prevent profiteering and instead support people like them. “As a result of this battle, farmers are likely to obtain high prices this year,” he predicted.
Wheat futures contracts in Chicago are selling for $545 per tonne, or $150 more than they were in February, before the crisis broke out. Mr Whitelaw stated, “I don’t think farmers should feel terrible about the rates being where they are – at the end of the day, it’s still supply and demand.” “When there is a drought in Russia, Brazil, or Argentina, we have high pricing, which is also very bad for those folks.” Through a specific Grower Delivery Card in the National Grower Register system, growers can donate grain from this year’s harvest to the campaign. The grain will be sold, with the revenues going to charitable organisations that help people who live in rural Ukraine.
Brad Jones, a Tammin farmer and member of the Grain Producers Australia sub-committee, is in Ukraine working to set up the campaign and select where the monies will go. “We know these folks are people you might talk to on a semi-regular basis, and to watch their houses being demolished and having to leave or defend their nation is inconceivable in some situations,” he said. Mr Jones explained that the initial aim was to utilise some of the funds to pay for short-term lodging. “It will be amazing if we can help even one person,” he remarked. This year, Mr Jones has requested a Ukrainian flag to be displayed during seeding, and he hopes his colleagues will follow suit. “While the money and infrastructure reconstruction will take time, emotional support is perhaps what they need the most right now, and that is just one way we can help.”
The National Grower Register number for the Grower Delivery Card is 1500 4442, and it is registered to Grain Producers Australia.