One of the basic truths of global agriculture is that poor crops in one part of the world can push up prices, helping farmers elsewhere. As a rule, U.S. farmers enjoy better prices and make more money when their foreign counterparts are hurt by bad weather.
Now, most crops in the Southern Hemisphere, where the growing season is under way, are benefitting from favorable weather. That doesn’t bode well for U.S. crop prices, which continue to slide.
U.S. farmers don’t exactly wish ill on their counterparts to the south. Producers here (well, most producers here) don’t want epic disasters that would ruin entire crops. But if it gets a little too hot or too dry in the Southern Hemisphere — if the crop outlook there weakens — U.S. producers won’t shed any tears.
Agriculturalists sometimes portray themselves, to the outside world at least, as a steadfast band of brothers. Reality isn’t so pretty.