COMMODITIES: Cropping the Price

Of all the forces driving up U.S. living costs, none has been more powerful than the two-year climb in the prices of American farm goods, which has kicked the nation's food bill to record levels. The prime cause of the boom has been the global demand for American-grown food. More recently, speculators bid up U.S. farm prices higher than even the heavy press of foreign orders warranted. Now, however, American consumers are getting the first signals that the worst is over. Since late February, prices on the Chicago Board of Trade and other commodities markets have been falling along...

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