This is good news for farmers in a free market but the implications are profound. Food shortages are probably more destructive to the fabric of civil society than any other single factor. When people get hungry enough they will do almost anything.
A few years ago my brother told me the world reserve of wheat would last nearly a year even if all production were stopped immediately. Things have changed (from the previous link):
…there is now less wheat in grain bins than at any time since World War II — only about enough to supply the world for four days.
Record oil prices, collapsing housing market, and now world wide food prices and shortages. These are interesting times we live in. Will it result in increased government involvement to “solve” the problems? Or will people realize that government interference in the free market causes the problems? Remember that for decades the Soviet Union tried to increase food production under their communistic form of government and failed. And during those same decades the U.S. with a mostly capitalistic economy was trying to reduce food production so prices would increase and they too failed.
I’m reminded of Milton Friedman quote:
Governments never learn. Only people learn.
Have people learned? When they are hungry will the remember the lessons? Or will they insist the lessons be repeated at the cost of millions or perhaps even billions of lives?