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3 Big Things Today, September 7

Soybeans Higher as Wet Weather Takes Toll; Bayer's Improved Offer May Mean Monsanto Closer to a Deal.

1. Soybeans Rise as Diseases, Flooding Becoming More Prominent

Soybean futures rose overnight, as disease and flooding are becoming a more prominent issue as rainfall persists in many growing areas.

The U.S. soybean crop was rated 73% good or excellent as of Sunday, unchanged from the prior week, and 74% of corn earned top ratings, down a point week to week, the Department of Agriculture said in a report on Tuesday. The numbers are historically high.

Still, as much as six times the normal amount of precipitation has fallen in the past 30 days in much of the Midwest, including the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, according to the National Weather Service. Even parts of Ohio and Michigan, which were extremely dry a month ago, have received ample rainfall, NWS data show. The excessive moisture is threatening fields in some parts of the region. 

Reports of fungal diseases, including sudden death syndrome in beans, have been rolling in since the Pro Farmer Crop Tour two weeks ago, and flooded fields have been a problem for several weeks, as rains inundate rivers and tributaries, causing them to overflow their banks.

Soybeans for November delivery rose 8¾¢ to $9.68½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, soy meal futures for December delivery gained $3.80 to $313.90 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.14¢ to 33.27¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery rose ¼¢ to $3.28¾ a bushel.

Wheat futures for December delivery added ½¢ to $3.99 a bushel overnight in Chicago, while Kansas City futures gained ½¢ to $4.10¾ a bushel.


2. Bayer’s Increased Offer For Monsanto Reportedly Brings Companies Closer to a Deal

German crops giant Bayer AG improved its bid for U.S. agriculture conglomerate Monsanto on Tuesday, reportedly bringing the two sides closer to a deal.

Bayer upped its offer for Monsanto to $127.50 a share, bringing the total bid to more than $65 billion, the German company said in a statement on Tuesday. Bayers said it’s in “advanced” talks to acquire Monsanto, which quickly confirmed the increased offer.

The improved bid has brought the two sides closer on prices, CNBC reported, citing unnamed sources, who said the deal could happen within two weeks. German newspaper Rheinische Post reported that it may take a bid of $130 a share to close the deal, citing people familiar with the transaction.

If an acquisition is achieved, it would be the blockbuster deal among many mergers and acquisitions in the fast-consolidating agricultural industry.

ChemChina earlier this year bought Syngenta; Dow and DuPont have said they will combine and then split into three separate companies; and John Deere has proposed buying Precision Planting from Monsanto, though it was sued last week by the Justice Department’s antitrust regulators to stop the deal.

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3. Flood Warnings Abound as Thunderstorms Reach Wisconsin, Missouri

Flooding, thunderstorms, and hazardous weather warnings abound in the Midwest, as rain is causing rivers to overflow in several states.

A flash flood warning is in effect for several Wisconsin counties near La Crosse and the Wisconsin Dells, according to the National Weather Service. Surrounding counties are in a flash flood watch, as thunderstorms continue to pound the area.

A flood warning has been issued in parts of central Illinois near the towns of Canton and Havana, while a heat advisory also has been issued for much of the state. Heat indexes are expected to top 100˚F. this afternoon, according to the NWS.

Pretty much all of Missouri is under a hydrological warning, meaning that heavy rainfall may lead to flooding later this week.

“Several rounds of showers and thunderstorms will move across the Missouri Ozarks and far southeastern Kansas from Thursday through early Saturday, with the heaviest rainfall occurring Friday afternoon and evening,” the NWS said. “Flooding of small creeks, streams, and rivers may occur.”

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