Prior to President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), the United States was the "breadbasket to the world." In 1972, Russia was forced to purchase 10 million metric tons of wheat after a serious crop failure brought on by a severe El Nino cycle.
While the USDA report put a damper on the ag market (specifically corn), the commodity indexes continue to move into new highs for this move thanks to lower energy stocks and Mideastern politicaly instability.
Finally, enough hard assets are showing enough strength that values as measured by the CRB Index are on the rise. The CRB hit a new, 7 month high this week as traders and investors are modestly buying breaks rather than selling rallies.