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Russian Ag Ban Expected To Have Minimal Effect On Northwest Growers

OPB | Aug. 7, 2014 3:40 p.m. | Updated: Aug. 7, 2014 4:46 p.m.

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Russian president Vladimir Putin’s ban on food imports from the U.S. could cost Northwest growers millions of dollars. But Russian imports are a thin slice of our region’s multi-billion dollar farm economy.

Oregon exported about $5.3 million worth of farm commodities to Russia, last year - mainly pears, meat products, and vegetable and grass seeds. That’s less than one percent of Oregon’s total farm exports, worth about $3 billion.

Washington exports more to Russia - but it’s still a small fraction of the state’s nearly $9 billion in exports, according to Mike Louisell with Washington’s agriculture department.

“It is unlikely that the proposed ban of agricultural commodities will hurt Washington State,” Louisell said. “However, you never like to see an industry locked out of a market for any period of time.”

U.S. officials say Russia imports about $1.3 billion worth of American food products.

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