Business: Harvests Down, Prices Up

Grain markets groan, sugar sours, and the cost of eating escalates

A world economy already staggering under the impact of repeated blows from petro-inflation is now staring at another and different onslaught: higher food costs. Disappointing harvests in several of the world's key agricultural producing nations have resulted in soaring agricultural prices. From the truck farms of Japan to the wheatfields of Poland, bad weather and dismal crop yields are putting a sharp pinch in the global production of everything from meat and grain to vegetables.

The poor harvests climax almost a year of turmoil...

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