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3 Big Things Today, June 20

Wheat Futures Higher Overnight; Concerns Building Amid Adverse Global Weather.

1. Wheat Futures Hit Highest in Two Years on World Weather Concerns

Wheat futures rose to a two-year high in overnight trading amid concern about dry weather in the U.S. Soybeans and corn were little changed.

The spring wheat crop was rated 41% good or excellent as of Sunday, down 4 percentage points from a week earlier, according to the Department of Agriculture. Last year at this time, the crop was 76% good or excellent.

North Dakota, the biggest producer of spring wheat, has a below-average chance of seeing rain for at least the next 15 days, according to Commodity Weather Group. The state has received one beneficial rain so far this year, but none is on the horizon, worrying growers.

Global worries also have investors bullish on wheat.

Wheat futures for July delivery rose 3½¢ to $4.70½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Kansas City wheat added 2¼¢ to $4.74¾ a bushel.

Soybean futures for July delivery fell a penny to $9.36¾ a bushel overnight. Soy meal added 20¢ to $301.70 a short ton, and soyoil lost 0.16¢ to 32.66¢ a pound.

Corn futures added ½¢ to $3.75¾ a bushel in Chicago.


2. Low Acres, Global Weather Woes Leave Growers, Investors Worried About Wheat

Is it time to get worried about wheat?

U.S. growers this year planted the smallest winter crop since 1909 – the same year baseball player Mel Ott and bank robber Clyde Barrow were born – amid low prices and global competition.

Growers seeded about 32 million acres with winter wheat, down 10% from the prior year and the second smallest on record, according to the Department of Agriculture. Total production of all wheat varieties in the U.S. are expected at about 1.82 billion bushels, down a whopping 21% year over year.

Now, add in weather woes not only in the U.S. but also overseas, and things are starting to look a little dicey.

According to Commodity Weather Group, wheat and canola seeding in Australia likely will suffer from showers later this week, with a reduction in acreage expected. Weekend rains will benefit the southwestern third of Ukraine wheat and corn, but there’ll be limited showers in the north.

In western Europe, hot, dry weather is starting to cut into wheat yields in parts of northern France, the forecaster said.

Wheat prices are already at a two-year high. It’ll be interesting to see how much further they go considering the concern about the global crop.

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3. Thunderstorms Forecast in Eastern Nebraska, Western Iowa Starting Today

Some thunderstorms are forecast to move into parts of eastern Nebraska today and tomorrow with the best chance late tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service.

“Severe thunderstorms are possible Wednesday afternoon and evening over a good part of eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa, and also Thursday,” the NWS said in a report early Tuesday. “A cold front will move through the region, with sufficient instability and shear ahead of it for the development of severe thunderstorms.”

Still, warm temperatures may limit the coverage of the storms, especially in southern parts of the states, the agency said.

Farther east, storms are also possible tomorrow in parts of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, though any precipitation will be “isolated,” according to the NWS. Period rounds of storms will move into the area later this week, though coverage will be spotty.

Some of the weather later this week in eastern Iowa and Illinois may turn severe with damaging winds, large hail, and frequent lightning. The odds of a tornado are low for now, the NWS said.

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