Outlook for Food Prices: High

Thursday, February 17, 2011
By Paul Martin

Corn to Cotton, Farmers Have Bevy of Planting Choices;
Stockpiles Remain Thin

By Liam Pleven
WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 17, 2011.

The seeds of a sustained increase in food prices are about to be sown in Mississippi, Nebraska and other farm-belt states across the U.S.
As American farmers prepare to plant their next crops, they must decide how much, and what, to plant.
With prices for everything from corn to cotton and soybeans soaring, the overall mix of production is likely to be similar to last year, instead of a major turn toward one hot crop, a move that would likely drive down the price of that crop.
In past years there have been some big acreage swings, but analysts expect mostly minor changes when the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases a closely watched survey of farmers’ intentions next month. Only a limited amount of idle land can be brought into production, further capping supply.

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