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Farmers attending 'Gathering of the Green' express concern for global market amid Ukraine crisis

One farmer said prices for bread are already rising at the grocery store. He expects prices of other everyday goods to increase as well.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Farmers and John Deere tractor collectors packed the RiverCenter in Davenport Friday afternoon for "Gathering of the Green."

That biennial celebration recognizes all things John Deere, but some farmers at the event worry the ongoing crisis in Ukraine will impact the United States in places other than at the gas pump.

Dozens of tractors lined the halls at the RiverCenter with hundreds of fans surrounding them.

"My grandpa did all the farming," Tim Myers said.

Myers is in town from Ohio. He was previously a farmer, but now drives trucks for a shipping company.

After growing up on a family farm near Toledo, he became attached to the iconic John Deere green on the farm.

"The only new tractor he did buy was the Minneapolis Moline, but we always had John Deere on the Farm," Myers said. "And we still have them. You kind of get attached to 'em, just like part of the family."

John Deere is part of the international farming family, too, including an operation in Ukraine, according to the company's website.

In Iowa, that equipment is used for farming corn — one of the state's main crops.

Corn is also one of Ukraine's main exports, according to the American Farm Bureau. The organization says Ukraine is the world's seventh-largest corn producer, and planting season is right around the corner there.

A substantial part of Ukraine's productive agricultural land is in the eastern regions of the country, according to the farm bureau. That means those regions are more susceptible to Russian attacks, which could limit Ukraine's contributions to the global market.

"It's going to have a big impact on all our lives," said Joe Huey.

Huey was a dairy farmer for seven years in New York, and he still lives there.

He's come to nearly every gathering, only missing two.

"It's about 800 miles from home, but we enjoy it," Huey said.

Huey also said the crisis in Ukraine will have an impact away from the gas pump.

"Lately the price of bread at the grocery store has risen quite a bit," Huey said. "It's going to affect our communities with prices and everything."

The gathering is showing just how farmers and John Deere are connected around the world.

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