Farmers can't complain that they lack information about long-term trends in agriculture. The European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the various United Nations food agencies, specialised agricultural research institutes and of course national governments all seem driven to make regular projections about crops, prices and markets several years into the future.

Is any of this at all useful ? We ask because agriculture, more than any other industry, is beset by countless imponderables.

Full access to this article can be arranged with permission from the client that first ordered it. Please contact us to request access. Entries are uploaded to our archive at least one year after being published by a client – free access is restricted to International News Services journalists for background research only. The article date indicates when copy was filed to a client, not when posted to this archive. Upon client requests, International News Services will remove such articles from the archive or not upload them in the first place. They are included to demonstrate the breadth of topics undertaken by the agency and also to help promote clients’ coverage.