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Wheat Market Boom Is Igniting Bidding Wars for Seed-Spraying Rigs

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens Black Sea exports
  • Wheat surged by 32% in the past month, touched record high
An air seeder pulled by a tractor on a farm.
An air seeder pulled by a tractor on a farm.Photographer: Shannon VanRaes/Bloomberg

Wheat isn’t usually something American farmers think much about in the spring. The vast bulk of the crop goes in the ground in the fall, and as temperatures start to climb, they’re focused more on their corn and soybean plantings.

But in a sign of just how much Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upended global grain markets, farmers across the Midwest are scrambling to get their hands on the machine of choice for planting wheat. Called an air seeder, it’s a massive rig that hitches to the back of a tractor and sprays small seeds into the soil.