3 Big Things Today, August 16
1. Wheat Futures Fall as U.S. Winter Harvest Wraps
Wheat futures were lower overnight after the Weekly Crop Progress Report from the Department of Agriculture showed harvest was essentially complete.
The U.S. winter wheat harvest was 97% complete as of Sunday, ahead of the five-year average of 95%. By most accounts, yields in the Southern Plains, where hard red winter wheat is grown and comprises the bulk of the crop, were much better than normal.
Corn and beans were little changed overnight, as crop conditions remained unchanged week over week, according to the USDA.
Wheat futures for September delivery fell 3¼¢ to $4.18¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City futures declined 1½¢ to $4.10¼ a bushel in Chicago.
Soybean futures for November delivery rose ¾¢ to $10.10 a bushel overnight. Soy meal futures for December delivery gained $2.10 to $336.80 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.25¢ to 33.39¢ a pound.
Corn futures for December delivery gained ½¢ to $3.37½ a bushel in Chicago.
2. Subsoil Moisture, Crop Conditions Unchanged in Weekly Report
Subsoil moisture in the Midwest is still mostly favorable. In Illinois and Iowa, the biggest producers of both corn and soybeans, it’s downright gaudy.
Nationally, about 69% of soil moisture was considered adequate or surplus as of Sunday, the USDA said in a report late yesterday. That’s on par with the week-ago figure and up 1 percentage point from the same time last year.
Looking at the Midwest, however, it’s a case of the haves and have-nots. Illinois is definitely a have with 92% of subsoil having adequate or surplus moisture. That’s not to say the entire state is doing well, as some pockets of dryness have been noted in extreme northern counties, analysts said. Still, most of the state is in pretty good shape, according to the USDA.
In Iowa, about 89% of soil moisture earned top ratings. Again, pockets of dry soil can be spotted here or there, but mostly the state is in good shape, the government said. Even Indiana, despite some extreme dry weather in the northern part of the state, showed 69% of soil moisture as adequate or surplus.
Moving east, however, is where the problems are apparent. In Ohio, only 42% of subsoil moisture is adequate or surplus, and in Michigan, only 43% earned top ratings.
It’s as if somebody turned off the spigot at the Ohio state line. Overall, U.S. corn and soybean crops are in pretty decent shape considering 74% and 72%, respectively, were in good or excellent condition as of Sunday, according to the USDA.
Get today’s news sent to your in-box by signing up for Successful Farming newsletters.
3. Rain Shows No Signs of Slowing as Flash Floods Abound
The rain is showing no signs of abating in much of the central U.S., leading the National Weather Service to issue flash flood warnings and hazardous weather outlooks for a wide swath of land from the Texas Gulf Coast all the way to Ohio.
“The region surrounding a stalled front will serve as a focus for showers and thunderstorms,” the NWS said in a report on Tuesday morning. “A very large amount of moisture available in the atmosphere means that very heavy rain is possible in that activity, with the threat of flash flooding.”
Seven people have died in Louisiana, and more than 20,000 have been rescued from floodwaters, according to media reports. At least six rivers were at record levels due to the incessant rainfall.
In the Midwest, rain is expected to fall today stretching from Nebraska east to Ohio, where some rain may bring relief to corn and bean fields that have been extremely dry in the past 90 days.
Get involved in the discussion in Marketing Talk.