Ukrainian delegation of farmers to tour Minnesota this week

A group of farmers from Ukraine is spending the week in Minnesota, learning about opportunities and options about how to rebuild what’s been lost in the war.

From silos to farming equipment, farmer Lyubomyr Dykun tells FOX 9 that nearly 30% of Ukrainian agriculture has been totally destroyed or is occupied by Russian forces.

Dykun is part of a Ukrainian delegation of farmers that’s being sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and hosted by the Minnesota Trade Office. While they are in Minnesota, the group will tour farms and businesses, sharing their stories of how the war has impacted their operations, and also learning about how to rebuild the infrastructure that’s been lost in the war.

Since the war began, more than 200 Ukrainian farms have been destroyed, but about 80% of farms were able to plant their crops this spring in spite of the ongoing threat. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of corn and wheat, but Russian occupation has put transporting and selling those commodities at a near standstill.

One of the biggest issues farmers face right now is logistics, along with hidden threats in their fields.

"The biggest issue now is a lot of mines and bombs on the fields, so now it’s another story because a lot of tractor drivers are dying on the fields," said Dykun.

The delegation of farmers will be in town through Friday.