The rapidity of change in food and fiber supplies and prices is cause for national alarm and frustration.
Never has food production been so great and the harvests been so bountiful as they were in 1973. Record crops of corn, wheat, soybeans, and sorghum were harvested. Yet, the United States has, in a few months, gone from the threshold of burdensome surpluses to nagging and persistent shortages of food, feed, fiber, and energy.
There have been dramatic increases in national and global consumption and acquisition of food, feedstuffs, forest products, and natural fibers. Parallel with these are escalating demands and rising costs for energy dependent fertilizers and crop-protecting chemicals. Greater affluency at home and abroad, coupled with population increases, have created a demand for resources that appears almost boundless. Agricultural exports have escalated from $8.5 billion to an estimated $19 billion in just two years, each year almost doubling the