The Ukraine Report: Family farm continues its operations despite the war

It has almost been two years since Russia first invaded Ukraine. The ripple effects can be greatly felt in Ukrainian farming operations. Although, one family farm is continuing its operations despite the war.

Latifundist Media has partnered with us to provide boots-on-the-ground coverage.

The Baibarak farm is located in the center of Ukraine, in Kirovohrad region. It is a family business. Vasyl Suprun, the father and manager, his son Kostiantyn Suprun and their son-in-law Mykola Baybarak each have a different role in running the business.

“We have 5,900 acres of land. 4,900 acres is what we had after the collapse of the Soviet Union. We leased the rest of the land later. My son Kostiantyn started working with me from the very beginning, and then my daughter’s husband Mykola joined us.”

This season, sunflowers and corn cover equal areas of 1,200 acres. They also grow winter wheat and barley. They strictly observe the crop rotation.

“Despite the war in Ukraine, this year was surprisingly productive for us. Our region had 680 mm of rainfall during the vegetation period. We got a good corn yield of 78 bushels per acre with a moisture content of 12%. This is very good for Kirovograd region. The corn was harvested in September. We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and expect that by December the price for this crop will rise and we will sell it profitably.”

Baibarak practices a mixed tillage system. The grain crops are planted under no-till technology, and for this purpose, they bought special equipment. Sunflower and corn are grown with classical technology. But in the future, they want to switch all their crops to no-till.

“We have been doing no-till on winter wheat for over 15 years. Besides wheat, we have also tried to plant corn and sunflowers under this technology. If the price of plant protection products and fuel does not drop next year and the price of agricultural products does not rise, we will convert all fields to no-till.”

Vasyl Suprun insists that farmers need to develop their businesses. After all, farmers are responsible for the food security of not only Ukraine but the entire world.

“We hope for victory, we pray for our colleagues to come back. We love what we do and will never give it up. Agribusiness is our passion, as we came to it by heart. This is all we achieved in our lives and we will keep building on it.”

That report was powered by Latifundist Media, with USAID support provided through Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities (AGRO) Activity implemented in Ukraine by Chemonics International. For more information, visit their website or follow them on social media.