Almost 25 years after watching the Dawn of Communism collective farm where he grew up land in the dustbin of history, Andrey Burdin is helping turn Russia into something the communists never could: a grain-export powerhouse.
Over the last few years, Burdin has tripled the size of his farm on the steppe near the Black Sea, winning prizes from the local government for how much wheat he’s produced from the rich soil here and pumping profits back into new tractors and sprayers.
His harvest this season will be a third bigger than what it was just five years ago, helping fuel an explosion in grain exports that has allowed Russia to displace longtime global leaders like the U.S. and European Union.
Long known for its oil and gas, Russia is now moving to retake leadership in the world wheat trade it last held when the Czars ruled…
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