Ag Commissioner downplays Russian ban's impact - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Ag Commissioner downplays Russian ban's impact

CLAXTON, GA (WTOC) -

Georgia's Commissioner of Agriculture said the announced ban by Russia of Western commodities won't have the impact it could have a generation ago.

Dr. Gary Black said the single largest export from Georgia to Russia is poultry.

"Last year, it accounted for about seven percent of our export - about $45 million worth," Black said. "However, we've diversified over the past 10-15 years. We can handle this better than we would have then."

Black said some poultry companies sell directly to companies overseas while some sell to distribution companies who develop the markets themselves. The commissioner said both should be able to identify other international markets to offset the ban.

This week, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a ban on the purchase of Western commodities. The move is believed to be in response to economic sanctions imposed by the United States.

"Our famers can find other markets for our poultry. The group that will be most impacted will be Russian consumers," Black stated.

The commissioner noted the ban includes peanuts, pecans and other typs of nuts. He did not have the data on whether any are exported to Russia, but believed the amount to be small if any.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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