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3 Big Things Today, June 14

Corn, Beans Higher Overnight; Lack of Rain in Forecast Gives Spring Wheat Growers Pause.

1. Grains, Beans Higher as Heat Wave, Dry Weather Continue

Grains and soybeans were higher in overnight trading as rainfall is forecast to be patchy for the next week or two and on reports of lower crop conditions.

The weather has been hot the past several days in much of the Corn Belt with temperatures in the 90s and heat indexes in the triple digits. That, combined with a lack of rain, has investors who are short the market, or bet on lower prices, nervous.

Rainfall in the next week will be patchy and intermittent, according to forecasters at Commodity Weather Group.

The condition of the corn crop was down a point from a week earlier, the Department of Agriculture said in a report on Monday. Spring wheat conditions also were miserable.

Wheat rose on reports that fields are dry in Australia, which will likely reduce production in the long run. Still, the country’s government raised its forecast for production this year from a March outlook.

Corn futures for July delivery gained 2¼¢ to $3.83¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans rose 4¾¢ to $9.37¼ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal added $2.10 to $303.60 a short ton, and soy oil gained 0.10¢ to 32.19¢ a pound.

Wheat futures for July delivery rose 5½¢ to $4.50½ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures gained 8¾¢ to $4.65¾ a bushel.


2. Spring Wheat Growers Have Reason to Worry Even After Monday’s Rainfall

With everybody looking at the slight decline in corn ratings and the first soybean measure of the year, many people overlooked the horrid condition of spring wheat.

About 45% of the crop in the Northern Plains was in good or excellent condition, down from 55% at the same time last year and the worst rating for this time of year since 1988, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In North Dakota, the biggest grower of spring wheat, only 43% of the crop is in good or excellent condition.

Spring wheat contracts on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange seem to be in play this week with volumes rising amid interest anew in the variety. Futures are up another 16¢ in overnight trading after rising about 14% since mid-May.

The good news for growers in the region is that there was a significant rain event on Monday. That will help boost crops in the region for a while. The bad news? Little rain is forecast for the region beyond that. The best chance in the next week is on Saturday, but that’s only a slim prospect.

With 95% of the crop emerged, the plants will begin to develop quickly. Heading and flowering generally start in July, but tillering and head development are also important stages that occur earlier, meaning rain also is essential for the rest of June.

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3. Rain Expected in Eastern Nebraska as Temperatures Stay Well Into the 90s

Rainfall is expected to be patchy, and that’s exactly what’s going on in the Midwest today.

A small storm is stretching along Interstate 80 in Nebraska from just north of the Kansas border to Sioux City, Iowa, that likely will produce heavy downpours and small hail, according to the National Weather Service.

The worst of the storm will follow the interstate from Lincoln to Omaha, with a band bringing rain to parts of southwestern Iowa.

Temperatures will still be in the 90s today and will remain that way through Saturday before a brief reprieve on Sunday. The weather will again heat back up into the 90s next week in the area.

Isolated thunderstorms may be possible for parts of northern Indiana and Ohio today, though the chances will be low for rainfall in much of the area, according to the NWS. There’s a chance that some of the storms, if they form, might be severe.

Heat indexes in the three-state region are expected to reach the mid-90s today.

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