A similar adjustment may be taking place - albeit more slowly - in Thailand, particularly since the higher prices for rice are not turning out to be as high as farmers had hoped for.
All over the world, prices for basic foods - barley for beer, milk for cheese, corn for tortillas and rice that serves as a staple food for more than half of the world's population - are soaring. But farmers are not rushing to cash in on the boom by planting more of these crops.
The Los Angeles Times reported the volume of corn planted in the US is expected to fall this year. California's rice crop, about half of which is exported, is predicted to increase only marginally. Instead, farmers are planting wheat and soybeans, which are cheaper to grow.
They say the reason is simple: the cost of planting some crops is rising as fast as their prices, and sometimes faster, leaving little incentive to increase production of some foods that remain in high demand around the world.
Farmers typically plant their crops once a year, and not all of them cost the same to produce. Both corn and rice, for example, require more fertiliser to grow and fuel to tend than other do crops. And as the cost of these farming inputs has risen beyond the price increases being received by farmers, they are turning away from the more expensive crops.
US economists say the situation could keep the price of some foods at their current high levels, or send them even higher, until worldwide supply can catch up with demand.
"The price of crops drove what farmers did last year," said Iowa State University agriculture economist Chad Hart.
"Now, it's costs, and that's prompting farmers to re-evaluate how they allocate their land."
The cost of farming an acre (0.4 hectare) of corn, for example, has risen almost 47 per cent since last year, Wells Fargo estimates, outpacing a 35-per-cent increase in corn prices in the same period.
Charlie Hoppin, who farms 1,300 hectares in California, is one farmer opting for a crop other than corn. He figures safflower will be just as profitable, if not better, and a whole lot easier to farm.
Many of the same considerations may be running through the minds of Thailand's millions of rice farmers. How much easier might it be, for instance, to grow just enough rice for their own consumption and commit the rest of their land to something cheaper and easier to grow - and equally rewarding? Like cassava, or sugar cane, or soybeans - all of them food or fuel crops.