With rising demand putting pressure on global supplies of a wide range of crop commodities, we believe the need for high-yield agriculture around the world has never been greater. Higher crop prices reflect tight supply/demand fundamentals, providing farmers with significant economic opportunities and motivating them to improve soil fertility to maximize production. We believe this is a global opportunity that holds true for corn farmers in the US, produce growers in China, soybean producers in Brazil, and others.
While record or near-record prices for many crops - including $7-per-bushel corn and $14-per-bushel soybeans - are creating headlines, farmers are recognizing a business opportunity that extends beyond short-term price movements. Even at crop prices well below current levels, farmers see the opportunity to generate a significant return on their investment. This is shifting their emphasis towards maximizing yields to capitalize on the economic opportunity - and that is best achieved by improving fertilization application practices to replenish nutrients in the soil and protect its fertility for future crops. We believe that the growth in demand for food and fertilizers is supportive for our business in the current environment, and are confident that these powerful trends will lead to even greater opportunities in the years ahead, especially in potash.
Rising demand from fertilizer buyers around the world is putting pressure on the global potash industry's supply capabilities and creating an environment of rising prices. These conditions continue to provide a powerful earnings opportunity for PotashCorp because of our unmatched ability to expand our operational capability and increase production over the next five years to meet this growing demand. Since 2003 and continuing through the darkest days of the global recession, we have been investing in new operational capability to prepare for the situation that we believe is unfolding.