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March 20, 2014, 6:01 a.m. EDT

How to play the rising cost of commodities

Opinion: Getting a piece of the action in agriculture

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By Jeff Reeves

Scientists have uncovered evidence of the Big Bang and “cosmic inflation” in recent experiments at the South Pole.

But the average American doesn’t have to be an astrophysicist to find proof of cosmic inflation. All they have to do is look at their grocery budget.

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Food prices are soaring, as ugly weather in California and South America wreaks havoc on harvests.

If you’ve been watching the fast-moving commodity markets lately and you’re looking to get a piece of the action in agriculture — or if you’re just an investor looking to hedge your portfolio against the volatility — thankfully there are many ways to play these recent trends. And most of them fit comfortably in the typical brokerage account or IRA.

Now, before you start beating the hyperinflation drums again, keep in mind that broad-based measures aren’t setting off any alarms. The official rate of inflation as measured by the consumer price index rose just 0.1% in February for a meager 1.1% annual rate.

But it’s undeniable that a well-placed bet on fast-moving agricultural commodities can be quite profitable, even if the headline inflation rate isn’t a big deal.

Interested in making a trade? Here are some simple ways to add some commodity exposure to your portfolio:

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