Wheat Closes Higher as Adverse Weather Threatens Winter Crops

Corn, beans end little changed, giving up early gains.

Wheat futures closed higher on Wednesday amid concerns about dry weather in the Southern Plains and a deep freeze in soft red winter country.

Little or no rain has fallen in southern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles in the past 30 days, according to the National Weather Service. That’s left hard red winter wheat set to emerge from dormancy extremely dry. The weather has been so dry that wildfires last week killed thousands of hogs and cattle in Oklahoma and Texas.

Freezing weather in much of the southeastern fourth of the country also is threatening crops that don’t have a protective layer of snow. Temperatures were in the low- to mid-20s this morning in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois where soft red winter wheat is grown, according to the NWS. 

“Providing at least a little support at this time are the increasing concerns about the droughty conditions across the southern U.S. and at this point, particularly in the Kansas/Texas/Oklahoma regions,” said Dan Hueber of brokerage The Hueber Report. “While much of the midsection and certainly the East Coast have been witnessing more than their fair share of moisture, these southern regions remain dry.”

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 5¼¢ to $4.35¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City wheat gained 4½¢ to $4.47 a bushel. 

Soybean futures for May delivery fell 2¢ to $9.97¼ a bushel. Soy meal was unchanged at $327.20 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.09¢ cent to 32.21¢ a pound. 

Corn added 1¼¢ to $3.63½ a bushel in Chicago.

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