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Could have been worse

DANIEL LOOKER 06/28/2013 @ 3:51pm Business Editor

Like many analysts, Iowa State University economist Chad Hart was surprised by USDA's big acreage report Friday that increased corn, wheat, and soybean acres.

But after the markets closed, he believes more detailed analysis of the report kept prices from moving down the limit, which is 40 cents a bushel in corn. The December CME corn contract was down 27 1/2 cents from Thursday's settlement price, closing at $5.11 a bushel. November beans closed at $12.52/bushel, down 23 1/4 cents. Kansas City July wheat was down 10 1/4 cents, closing at $6.76 1/4.

"We beat the market up a little bit, but not as bad as we could have," Hart said. "I think a lot of people are already discounting the numbers, and that's why we didn't get hit as hard."

Like Darrel Good at the University of Illinois, Hart was interested in how much wasn't planted when USDA survey was taken in the first two weeks of June. The amount of corn that remained to be planted then was only 3.4%, but 27% of soybeans remained unplanted.

Hart was surprised that the planted acreage report for his own state of Iowa was down by only 200,000 acres on corn from March planting intentions. Hart said that in Iowa he sees many fields with ponding and drowned out corn. That's going to show up later either as abandoned acres or, if not abandoned, then lower yields, he said.

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