Wheat is not only sown into Russia’s rich, black soil, but also woven into the cultural fabric of the agricultural powerhouse that straddles Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The image of wheat stocks can be found on Russian and Soviet Union-era flags, monuments, and artwork, reflecting the food grain’s importance as a national symbol of abundance and prosperity. Recognized throughout history as a leading wheat producer, it wasn’t until recently that Russia began flooding the international market with significant volumes of the grain. In fact, throughout the latter part of the 20th century, Russia depended heavily on wheat imports to feed its people and its burgeoning livestock industry.

The fall and rise of Russian wheat