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Wheat Closes Slightly Higher as Tour Shows Lower Yields, Soy Rises

Soybean Futures Finish Up as U.S. Crop Enters Critical Stage of Growth.

Wheat futures closed barely higher Friday after the Wheat Quality Council’s tour of North Dakota pegged yield and production at the lowest level in six years. 

Prices were higher for most of the session but almost gave up gains as the day ended. Soybeans and corn also closed higher. 

The spring wheat tour said yields this year will total 38.1 bushels an acre in the state. That’s down from last year’s actual yield of 46 bushels an acre for the spring crop.

Hot, dry weather for much of the summer hurt yields and output in North Dakota, the biggest grower of spring wheat in the U.S. The western two thirds of the state are in extreme or exceptional droughts, the worst possible ratings issued, while much of the eastern third is abnormally dry or suffering from a moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 

Only isolated or scattered showers are expected this weekend in the northern Plains, and no severe storms are forecast, according to the National Weather Service. 

Commodity Weather Group said in a report earlier this week that the chances of rainfall are below normal for the month of August, which likely will further hurt spring crops. 

Wheat futures for September delivery closed up 1¾¢ to $4.81½ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures added ½¢ to $4.81¼ a bushel. 

Corn futures for December delivery gained 1½¢ to $3.89¼ a bushel. 

Soybeans finished higher amid concerns about hot weather hitting right as the crop is setting pods. About 69% of the crop was bloomed as of Sunday, while almost 30% is blooming, according to the USDA.

Soybean futures for November delivery gained 5¢ to $10.12½ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal fell 70¢ to $328.30 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.74¢ to 35.03¢ a pound.

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