How Russia's Invasion Could Affect Nebraska's Economy

Feb. 24, 2022, 4:40 p.m. ·

Farm machine goes through wheat field
Wheat prices may increase because of Russia's invasion, according to Nate Kauffman with the Federal Reserve Bank. (Photo Courtesy of Nebraska Wheat Board on Facebook)

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Inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain issues have already impacted Nebraska businesses and households. Nate Kauffman with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could affect the state’s economy, too.

Kauffman is the Omaha branch executive for the Federal Reserve Bank. He said they’re watching energy and food prices locally. Ukraine is a large global supplier of wheat, so people could see higher prices of the grain.

"As prices are rising, potentially due to the conflict in Ukraine, that's something that has the potential to benefit farmers in this area, at least in the short term, by way of higher prices received for their product," he said.

However, that could affect food prices too. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now and the Federal Reserve doesn’t know how this will play out in the long term, Kaufman said. He advises Nebraskans to start planning ahead.

"Sometimes when things can be highly uncertain, or potentially changing rapidly, it's easy to maybe not have spent the time that would be necessary to talk about financial planning," he said. "For example, having conversations about what does a budget look like for the rest of this year."

That’s the case for both Nebraska businesses and households, Kauffman said.