The intrepid economists at USDA* have published an analysis of what the current rise in food prices means for U.S. agriculture. Their report provides a broad overview of the causes and effects of higher food prices. The bottom line: the long-term effects are still uncertain but they will surely be worse for farmers in developing countries than for our own farmers.

But shouldn't the USDA also be concerned about what will happen to Third World farmers? If we are part of a global food system, don't we have some global responsibility?

*The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has produced an interactive report summarizing the kinds of research it does. See if you agree with me that the ERS does invaluable work and performs a great public service.