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3 Big Things Today, May 31

Corn, Soybeans Higher Overnight; Planting Just Behind Average as Rain Falls.

1. Corn, Soybeans Rise Amid Short Covering, Bargain Hunting After Tuesday’s Losses

Grains and soybeans rebounded from big losses yesterday amid a mix of short covering as the month ends and bargain hunting after a government report showed planting again fell behind the average pace.

Buyers were in the market seeking contracts this morning after corn lost 7¼¢ and soybeans finished 13¢ lower on Tuesday. Prices fell yesterday on speculation that growers would have a chance to get into fields this week as long as the weather stayed dry.

Farmers, however, disputed that, saying the ground is too muddy in many places even without further rainfall to use planters. The Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress Report showed corn and soybean planting was just behind the normal pace.  

Prices have been moving back and forth recently as traders in Chicago are uncertain what will happen with the crop. Excessive rain has fallen in much of the Midwest so far this planting season, forcing many farmers to replant their corn and delay soybean seeding.

Still, growers have the ability to plant a lot of seed in a short amount of time, leaving investors worried that their concerns about delayed planting are overblown.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 4¢ to $3.71 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans added 2¼¢ to $9.15 a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal gained $1.60 to $299.20 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.09¢ to 31.33¢ a pound.

Wheat futures rose 3¾¢ to $4.33¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City futures gained 4¾¢ to $4.38 a bushel.

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2. Corn, Soybean Planting Slightly Behind Average as Rain, Mud Keep Farmers Out of Fields

It was another slow week of corn planting for growers in the U.S. due to excessive amounts of rainfall.

As much as six times the normal amount of rain has fallen in the past two weeks in much of the Midwest.

A wide swath of land stretching from northern Kansas through northern Wisconsin saw a large amount of precipitation in the past 14 days, as did a stretch from northeast Texas through Ohio, according to the National Weather Service. That’s kept farmers out of fields.

Corn growers were 91% finished with planting as of Sunday, just behind the prior five-year average of 93%, the Department of Agriculture said in a report. That’s up from 84% the previous week.

Some 73% of corn had emerged, behind the average of 75% but well ahead of last week’s 54%, the government said. The crop is in decent shape with 65% earning good or excellent ratings.

Soybean seeding was 67% finished as of Sunday, a point behind the prior five-year average and up from 53% seven days earlier, according to the USDA.  

About 37% of the crop had emerged, behind the average of 40% but well ahead of the previous week’s 19%, the agency said.

In wheat country, exactly half of the winter crop was rated good or excellent with just a few weeks to go until harvest starts in earnest. That’s down from 52% last week and 63% a year earlier. About 80% of the crop is headed.

Spring wheat planting was 96% complete, ahead of the average of 91%, and 79% of the crop is emerged vs. the five-year average of 74%. Some 62% earned top ratings, well behind last year’s 79%.

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3. Weather Maps Relatively Quiet Wednesday Morning as Storms May Roll In Tomorrow

The weather maps are relatively quiet this morning – or at least quieter than they have been for some time.

There’s still flooding going on along the Mississippi River all the way from Iowa to Louisiana. That hasn’t changed much recently, but dry weather is allowing the river and its tributaries to recede, the National Weather Service said in a report early Wednesday.

Some thunderstorms may pop up later this week in parts of Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, though the chances are still pretty slim.

“A few strong storms may be possible in (parts of Illinois) Thursday night, depending on the placement of a warm front developing across the region,” the NWS said. “Current indications suggest areas generally along and south of Interstate 80 will be more favorable for strong storms.”

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