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3 Big Things Today, October 4

Wheat Futures Lower Overnight; Harvest Speeds as Dry Weather Allows Farmers Into Fields.

1. Wheat Futures Fall Overnight; Corn, Beans Little Changed

Wheat futures declined overnight as planting of winter varieties in the U.S. continues.

About 43% of the crop was planted as of Sunday, up from 30% the prior week but slightly behind the five-year average of 45%, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report.  Dry weather in the Southern Plains for most of last week allowed growers to get into fields and put seed in the ground.

Corn and soybean futures were little changed as investors weigh concerns about the size and quality of the crop against forecasts for record production.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 1¢ to $3.94½ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures declined 2¼¢ to $4.04¾ a bushel.

Corn futures for December delivery rose ½¢ to $3.46½ a bushel overnight.

Soybeans for November delivery fell 3¼¢ to $9.69¾ a bushel in Chicago. Soy meal futures for December delivery rose 50¢ to $308.90 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.25¢ to 32.99¢ pound.

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2. Dry Weather Allows Farmers to Accelerate Corn, Soybean Harvests

The dry weather last week allowed farmers to speed collection of corn and soybeans in the Midwest, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The U.S. corn harvest was 24% complete as of Sunday, up 9 percentage points from the prior week, the USDA said. While that’s still behind the five-year pace of 27%, it’s close. Soybeans were 26% collected, up from 10% the prior week but slightly behind the five-year pace of 27%. 

In Iowa, 10% of corn is collected; in Illinois, 43% is in the bin. For soybeans, 21% of the harvest is complete in Iowa, whereas, 16% is finished next door in Illinois, according to the USDA.

In the past seven days, much of Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri were dry. Most of Illinois only saw trace amounts of rain, but moving east, storms dumped up to 3 inches of precipitation in parts of Ohio and Michigan, according to the National Weather Service.

Dry weather for much of the Midwest is expected again today. Some small localized showers may fall in the area, but the spell of dryness will continue, which will likely help accelerate the harvest further.

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3. Dry Weather Expected as Isolated Storms Likely For Central Iowa   

More dry weather is on the way as little rain is expected today and tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service.

A few showers may hit central Iowa later today, the NWS said in a report on Monday. Some of the storms involved may be severe this evening, with the main threat being a “brief tornado.”

Flooding continues in eastern Iowa and western Illinois as the Mississippi River is still above flood statge in Rock Island, though waters are receding. The Cedar, Iowa, and Wapsipinicon rivers also have breached flood stage but are falling, the NWS said.

The northern Midwest is expected to be drier for the next six to 10 days, which should allow growers into fields to continue harvesting, according to MDA Information Services. Southern parts of the Midwest, however, will be wet in the next 10 days.

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