In 2010, global markets had to pay more to buy Texan cotton, but Americans spent more money for petroleum. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. import prices advanced 4.8 percent and export prices increased 6.5 percent in 2010. In 2010, import prices rose for the second consecutive year, increasing 4.8 percent after an 8.6-percent advance in 2009.
Export prices increased 6.5 percent in 2010 after a 3.4-percent rise the previous year. The 2010 advance was the largest calendar-year increase since the index was first published in December 1983. Most of these increases had to do with the economic success of agriculture. Prices for agricultural exports rose 20.2 percent in 2010, the largest calendar-year increase since a 23.3-percent advance in 2007. While a 107.0-percent increase in cotton prices was the largest single factor for the rise in agricultural prices in 2010, higher prices for corn, wheat, soybeans, and meat also contributed to the advance.
Although all signs of positive changes in the economy are welcome, it would be wise to consider the impact of these successful crops on the environment. Must American top soil and water supplies really carry the burden of recovering the country’s economy?