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The ever-expanding power of the soybean...that's what our cover should say. But as you read through this issue, I think you will come away with that perspective. We've known its potential all along. Henry Ford knew it but chose to go the hydrocarbon route (talk about your historical turning points!). The original soy food manufacturers knew it, but food technologies and research had not kicked in yet to supply "tasty" soy product, and market demand didn't follow. It's changing now. There have been many visionaries along the way predicting the future we are now beginning to experience. The impact of soybean uses on energy, industrial applications and food/nutrition/health will continue to be enormous. The impact of this on world soybean markets and prices will also be exciting to watch and to participate in.

We have just experienced such an event. This most recent run-up in commodity prices may be an indication of just that. At the recent World Ag Forum Regional Congress held a few weeks ago in St. Louis, future trends of the agri-food system were discussed. Gary Blumenthal of World Perspectives Inc. noted that this year the Commodity Research Bureau (CRB) Index of commodity prices has hit its highest level in 23 years, but that unlike past bull markets, typically driven by weather-related, supply-side dynamics, this one has been demand driven. Even with potential record supplies under production, it will be difficult to keep up. This price run-up is also occurring during low inflation and while business confidence is high, unlike the 1970s' bull markets when inflation was the driver. Both China and India are examples of rapid increases in demand for world commodities, especially soybeans, and where confidence in continued business growth is running extremely high.

YIELD Mission

YIELD will cover the people, companies, technologies, financing and issues that are at the forefront of the changes we all are seeing in the ag, food and fiber industries. It will focus on those leaders shaping it and those who are financing and investing in it.

YIELD will target the top executives and leaders of the ag, food and fiber industry in various sectors. It will target the financial community of institutional fund managers, securities analysts and merchant investment bankers who focus on biotech, agribusiness, food, chemical and other emerging sectors in this industry. YIELD will also target those strategic marketing and planning service agencies, key government officials and policymakers and influencers, and key university personnel who will shape the direction of agriculture.

The outlook for this newly defined industry is positive. A dialogue and greater understanding between all the stakeholders is the goal of YIELD. Your participation and input into this tool is welcome and encouraged. Y

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