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Wheat, Corn Futures Close Higher on Inclement U.S. Weather

Prices Improve Friday on Snow in Southern Plains, Incessant Rain in Midwest

Wheat futures closed higher on Friday amid concerns about the health of the hard-red winter wheat crop.

As much as 2 feet of snow fell in parts of Kansas last weekend, burying fields and causing lodging or frost damage in many western counties. The Kansas Wheat Tour, which recently wrapped, pegged yields at about 46 bushels an acre, but participants said they expect the final count will be closer to 40 bushels an acre due to the adverse weather. 

The snow was extremely wet and heavy, which may have caused plant stems to bend or snap, said Dave Green, the executive vice president of the Wheat Quality Council, the organization that hosted the event.

Corn futures finished higher as a wide swath of land stretching from Oklahoma to Ohio is under flood and flash-flood watches or warnings, and more rain is expected in some parts of Indiana on Friday, according to the National Weather Service. 

"The weather continues to be a concern for the trade especially with a weekend coming up," said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, the president of Summit Commodity Brokerage in Des Moines. "The fear is that if there is any change in the forecast it won’t take much rain to chase farmers right back out of the fields. With the risk of summer weather still being an unknown, it seems unlikely that the trade will want to press the short side too hard for a while."

Wheat futures for July delivery rose 5 cents to $4.42 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City wheat added 5 3/4 cents to $4.50 1/4 a bushel.

Corn futures gained a nickel to $3.71 1/2 a bushel in Chicago.

Soybean futures for July delivery finished down 1/2 cent to $9.73 3/4 a bushel. Soymeal lost $1.50 to $317.10 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.47 cent to 32.97 cents a pound. 

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