Russian export ban could hurt Idaho ag business

NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) - Russia recently signed a ban on most agriculture exports from the US and several European nations. This comes less than a year after Gov. Otter led a trade mission to try and boost Idaho exports to the country.

Russia signed the ban as retaliation for sanctions put on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

Companies like Dynamite Marketing out of Meridian, who specialize in plant and animal feed, were one of the ones hoping to get into the Russian market. Once the crisis in Ukraine started they stopped those efforts.

The company's international director, Denisse Macias, admits there would be a lot of potential in the market if it weren't for the crisis.

"Especially in the equine market, that's a large opportunity," Macias said. "As far as profits we are talking millions of dollars of course, but we don't know the potential since we are not able to engage."

Expansion in overseas markets can often mean more jobs here at home to keep up with demand. So it's unclear if the ban on exports is costing jobs.

Macias said they first started expanding into Taiwan and China about three years ago and have seen a large amount of growth because of it. Even with the ban they said this will give them an opportunity to concentrate on other markets.

The ban is only set to last a year, but could be extended depending on how the crisis unfolds.