Jim Wiesemeyer, senior vice president, Informa Economics speaking at the 2011 USA Rice Outlook Conference, said the United States will experience modest economic growth in the coming year as it continues to deal with the ramifications of the housing market meltdown and high unemployment, while countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will see substantial economic growth.  

"There's uncertainty in spades and markets don't like uncertainty," Wiesemeyer told attendees. "Expect little to be done in Washington between now and the November election, but I think the odds are in favor of a farm bill in 2012."   

Wiesemeyer said Congress must address the debt situation, but that won't be done until after the election and that it's unlikely that mandatory across-the-board federal spending cuts looming in 2013 will actually take effect.