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3 Big Things Today, February 1

Grains, Beans Slightly Lower in Overnight Trading; Perdue Receives Vilsack Backing.

1. Grains, Beans Lower Overnight as Stronger Dollar Furthers Export Concerns

Grains and beans were modestly lower overnight, reversing earlier gains, as the value of the dollar rose, curbing purchasing power for overseas buyers.

The value of the dollar was up 0.4% in overnight trading. A stronger greenback effectively makes products traded in the U.S. currency more expensive for importers.

Investors are already concerned about exports as South American production ramps up and the Trump administration exits the Trans Pacific Partnership and considers revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement, which will curb demand for U.S. products.

Corn futures for March delivery fell a penny to $3.58¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures declined 2½¢ to $10.22 a bushel overnight. Soy meal futures lost $1.80 to $332.80 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.1¢ to 33.95¢ a pound.

Wheat for March delivery declined 2¾¢ to $4.18 a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures fell 3½¢ to $4.26 a bushel.

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2. Perdue is First Trump Nominee to Receive Endorsement From Predecessor

Secretary of Agriculture nominee Sonny Perdue became the only Trump cabinet nominee to receive an endorsement from his predecessor when Tom Vilsack yesterday said he would be a solid choice for the position.  

Vilsack said in a statement that Perdue is committed to U.S. farmers, ranchers, and producers and knows the challenges faced in rural communities.

“He will, I am sure, work hard to expand opportunity in rural America,” Vilsack said in a statement.

Perdue will be supportive of the Forest Service and will pay attention to the “many and varied” interests overseen by the department, including efforts to supply children with safe and affordable food, Vilsack said.

“Finally, his familiarity with our great Land Grant University system, including minority serving institutions, places him in a good place to advocate for the work at those colleges and universities in research and the development of the next generation of farmers, ranchers, and producers,” Vilsack said.

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3. Winter Storm Moving East From Wyoming Into South Dakota, Nebraska

A winter storm warning has been issued for much of Wyoming for a storm that’s headed into South Dakota and Nebraska today.

The National Weather Service office in Rapid City, South Dakota, issued the warning, along with a winter weather advisory and a winter storm watch for much of northern Wyoming, southwestern South Dakota, and northwestern Nebraska.

“Snow will slowly diminish and shift south this morning, lingering over far southwest South Dakota this afternoon,” the NWS said in a statement this morning. “Another strong disturbance will move into the region late tonight and support increasing snow chances over the area through Thursday.”

Up to 1 foot of snow is expected in the Black Hills and another 6 inches may be possible in other parts of the region, the agency said.

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