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Local impacts of Russian embargo

Local impacts of Russian embargo

POCATELLO, Idaho - With Russia putting an agricultural ban on the United States and other countries, including bans on meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and dairy products, how will that affect farmers locally?

One of the big items Idaho ships to Russia is live cattle, which is fortunately not included in the embargo. However, farms in the Treasure Valley and Northern Idaho will feel some of the effects. Farms in those areas have been shipping about a million dollars worth of things like peas and lentils.

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture said Idaho might be looking at increased competition for the goods we did trade with Russia before this embargo.

Laura Johnson, bureau chief for the Idaho Department of Agriculture said fresh potatoes have not been a big shipment to Russia, but Johnson said she and others have been making progress getting those shipments to become a major business for Idaho.

"Unfortunately that business was growing and now it will certainly be impacted," Johnson said. "But we aren't going to see an overall significant impact like we initially anticipated."

Johnson said since 2011, Idaho has made very good relationships to increase exports to Russia. She said the embargo lasts for a year, and hopefully business will resume as usual once it is lifted.

Last year, Idaho shipped more than $16 million worth of products to Russia, with live animals making up 90 percent of that number. Again, cattle is not included in the embargo. Russia has been Idaho's 14th largest agricultural export market.

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