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04/13/2008

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Yields have basically peaked in many of those places unless new technology comes along, and there hasn't been any research resulting in increased yields for the last 20 years in corn. Genetic engineering has reduced risk and changed the product rather than increased upside. I'm not saying that greater yields are impossible, just that it will need to happen in other places. Third increasing supply in Vietnam, Egypt, or any other place that has not reached peak yield requires capital rather than work. This means that a long term trend in rising prices is more important because increasing yields is a long term investment. Clearly prices are rising long term and losing 20 cents per cwt. because of the export tariff this year isn't going to stop them from investing in the necessary physical capital. For this reason it is necessary for governments to interfere in agricultural markets because if prices drop suddenly they don't want a long term reduction in supply. Consequently imposing a tax on a windfall profit is justified.

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If the Egyptian government is overthrown by a terrorist group the results could be devastating. The US has already created a terrorist base in Iraq and Afghanistan is once again under the control of the Taliban. If another country in the region flips, $111 a barrel crude could look cheap - further driving up the costs of food.

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For this statement, Jochen Zeitz argued that a considerable part of the product had being through wind and rain to counter the trend of fail for decades

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