The current economic and agronomic environments have driven some commodity prices and projected exports to their highest levels ever, USDA and other agencies have reported recently. USDA announced it believes farm exports will hit $143.5 billion in the 2013 fiscal year, compared to an estimated near-record of $136.5 billion in the 2012 fiscal year. Since 2009, U.S. agricultural exports have made gains of 50 percent. These records are in part due to high prices, including the highest corn and soybean prices on record, according to a new Food Price Watch report from the World Bank.

Wheat prices are also up but still below records.  The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said Thursday its food price index held steady in August after rising 6 percent in July. While higher prices are wonderful for farmers who have crops to sell, they also increase concerns about food insecurity in some parts of the world.