Old Macdonald Isn't Feeling So Bad

Contrary to your article on agriculture, "Farmers have a rough row to hoe" (Industry Outlook, Natural Resources, Nov. 13), all is not gloom and doom for the American farmer and the companies that supply him.

Despite the warning that "farm income is expected to fall 11%," the fact is that American farmers will still earn $52 billion, the second-highest cash income ever; land values will remain stable, after a strong recovery from the low levels of the '80s; and domestic and world grain stocks will remain tight, the lowest levels since the mid-1970s.

The U.S. ratios of stocks to use, at the end of 1991-92, particularly for wheat and corn, are forecast to drop to their lowest levels in more than 15 years, strengthening prices and encouraging increased planted acreage. Despite warnings of reduced crop production in 1992, conditions as of early January indicate increased wheat acreage and larger corn and feed-grain plantings.

Billie B. Turner, Chairman and CEO

IMC Fertilizer Group Inc.

Northbrook, Ill.