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Swedish farmers may be forced to reduce their harvests by as much as half due to a shortage of manure and fertilizers caused by the conflict in Ukraine and associated sanctions war.

Sweden, which is highly dependent on the import of manure since production all but ceased in the 2000s, could be facing major agricultural issues due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, as Sweden imports between 15 to 20 per cent of its manure from Russia.

Russia is also an important source of phosphorus and potassium, key ingredients in the production of fertilizers, and with sanctions and supply disruption some Swedish farmers fear harvests could be reduced by 50 per cent.

Farmer Andreas Lidén, who runs a farm in Västergötland that includes 500 hectares of grain production, spoke to the magazine Tidningen Naringslivet about manure and fertilizer costs, saying: “Normally I pay about 1.2 million [Swedish Kronor] a year, but this year that bill increased to two million. We can do it this year, but it can’t be higher than this. We are also struggling with sky-high diesel costs.”

Gas prices, which have also surged since the start of the Ukraine conflict, are also a factor in the production of manure and fertilizer, and while many farmers will be able to supplement their stocks of manure with manure from Western European countries like France or Norway, costs will be much higher.

The report comes just a week after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin warned that sanctions against Russia could destabilize the global food and energy markets, staying: “Their prices are rising, but that’s not our fault. It’s the result of their own miscalculations. There’s no need to blame us.”

“If they continue to create problems for the financing and logistics of the delivery of our (fertiliser) goods, then prices will rise and this will affect the final product, food products,” he added.

Svein Tore Holsether, head of the agricultural company Yara International, has also warned that a local food crisis was on the horizon.

“Half the world’s population gets food as a result of fertilisers… and if that’s removed from the field for some crops, [the yield] will drop by 50 per cent,” he said.

“For me, it’s not whether we are moving into a global food crisis – it’s how large the crisis will be.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com.

Source: Breitbart

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