The Russia-Ukraine war has caused unimaginable human suffering in Ukraine and has set the stage for a food and hunger crisis that is reverberating far beyond Europe’s borders. Russia and Ukraine provide nearly a third of global wheat exports, 76% of global sunflower oil exports, and are major suppliers of barley and corn. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of fertilizers.
Monitoring the Impact of the Russia-Ukraine War on Wheat Supply
Shipment disruptions from the critical Black Sea region must be closely monitored to address the impact of the food crisis.
The Gro team is providing the Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative continued coverage of crop conditions within Russia and Ukraine for key crops wheat and corn, as well as any updates from the Russia-Ukraine war that may impact exports. Each month, the Gro team reports on regional growing conditions, weather, and climate and provides yield estimates for corn and wheat.
Gro’s crop projections are based on Gro’s extensive satellite imagery, precipitation and temperature forecasts, and the Gro Drought Index, which measures the severity of drought on a scale of 0-5 for every region in the world. Our research analysts also leverage Gro’s Yield Forecast Models for wheat, specifically, to see the impact of climate conditions on production.
On Wednesday, March 30th, at the monthly GEOGLAM meeting, Gro reported favorable conditions for winter wheat production in Russia, with those conditions continuing through April. In Ukraine, Gro reported drier than average conditions for winter wheat. In addition, farmers are facing both the disruptions from the ongoing war and fertilizer shortages. The former Minister of Agriculture said Ukraine is expecting to lose 2.5 million hectares of winter wheat due to the war, which will be felt worldwide.
“Each country's food security is deeply entwined with that of other countries, and the Russia-Ukraine war does more than affect the crops in Ukraine alone,” said Kristina Yamamoto, Gro’s Senior Geospatial Analyst who assists with our collaboration with GEOGLAM.
“GEOGLAM provides a forum for discussion with regional agricultural experts as we work together to monitor global crop conditions. Sharing information with partners across the world strengthens all of our work, and this tenet rings especially true in times of crisis.”
Partnering with GEOGLAM to Improve Global Food Security
Gro For Good partners with GEOGLAM to provide crop monitoring for key growing regions and crops worldwide, with the goal of improving global food security and forecasting the impact on food price inflation and political stability.
Gro For Good and GEOGLAM have been working together for over three years. Funded in part by NASA Harvest, and in conjunction with the University of Maryland, GEOGLAM was launched in 2011 as part of the G20 Action Plan on Food Price Volatility, which also includes the Agriculture Information System (AMIS). GEOGLAM advances existing programs through coordinated Earth observation and research and development activities.
“Providing access to information has always been at the heart of Gro's mission, and the goals of GEOGLAM and Gro align well,” Yamamoto said. “A key to solving complex global issues is building connections - from data to regions to people. Everyone at GEOGLAM is dedicated to collaboration and sharing knowledge - it's a powerful program, and we are pleased to participate.”
Continuing to Support Global Food Security Amid Conflict and Climate Change
As a continued effort to tackle global food security in a time of conflict and climate change, Gro For Good is offering to partner with humanitarian organizations on a pro bono basis to help identify and strategically tackle current crises and those yet to emerge. We will not only offer access to our models and data free of charge but our team will also make themselves available to further explain, contextualize, and help navigate the unprecedented impact of this crisis.
Gro For Good provides free Premium access to academics, NGOs, and those working on global food security and climate change for the public good. We are committed to collaboratively building solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.