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Wheat falls on planting; corn, soybeans drop

Jeff Caldwell 11/05/2013 @ 3:00pm Agricultural content creator and marketer.

Wheat futures fell as planting of winter varieties progresses in the U.S., the world's biggest exporter of the grain, amid ample soil moisture that has improved crop prospects. Corn and soybeans also declined.

About 91% of winter wheat in the U.S. was planted as of Sunday, versus the five-year average of 90%, according to the Department of Agriculture. While growers aren't planting as much as they did last year in parts of the eastern Midwest, where soft-red winter varieties used to make cookies and cakes are grown, plants are off to a good start shortly after seeding, analysts said.

As much as three times the normal amount of rain has fallen in parts of Kansas, the biggest U.S. wheat producer, in the past month, National Weather Service data show. That will improve soil moisture in areas where drought has curbed yields for the past three years.

"They've been sowing a lot of wheat," said Dewey Strickler, the president of Ag Watch Market Advisors in Franklin, Ky. "Most guys I've talked with in the Midwest are not looking to plant as many wheat acres. That's not unexpected, it's more of a crop rotation thing. But when you go out onto the highway you're seeing a lot of wheat" planting progressing, he said.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures for December delivery fell 6 3/4 cents, or 1%, to $6.56 a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery on the CBOT fell 4 3/4 cents, or 0.4%, to $12.59 1/4 a bushel. Corn futures for December delivery declined 1 1/4 cents, or 0.3%, to $4.25 a bushel in Chicago.

Corn and soybean prices fell on speculation that the USDA will raise its production estimates in a crop report on Friday. The report will be the first since September as the October report was canceled due to the partial government shutdown.

Write to Tony C. Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 05, 2013 14:53 ET (19:53 GMT)
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