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3 Big Things Today, January 9

Soybeans Lower Overnight, Grains Mixed; Trump Touches on Important Topics in AFBF Speech.

1. Soybeans Lower Overnight on Argentina Rain, Grains Little Changed

Soybeans were lower in overnight trading as rainfall moves into growing areas of Argentina that had been dry, improving crop prospects in the South American country. Corn and wheat were little changed.

More rain than expected fell in much of eastern and northern Argentina over the weekend, leaving only about 20% of the Argentina corn and soybean crop under stress, Commodity Weather Group said in a report.

The main rain chances are in northern and central Argentina in the next six to 15 days, and scattered showers are forecast for Thursday and Friday in western states. Still, there’s a drier trend expected in the growing states of Buenos Aires and La Pampa in the six- to 15-day outlook, CWG said.

Prices also are declining as analysts expected the USDA to reduce its forecast for 2017-2018 sales in Friday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report.

Soybeans for March delivery fell 3¢ to $9.63¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal declined $1 to $320.50 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.16¢ to 33.38¢ a pound.

Corn futures rose ½¢ to $3.47¾ a bushel overnight.

Wheat for March delivery fell ¾¢ to $4.27 a bushel. Kansas City futures rose ¼¢ to $4.33½ a bushel.

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2. Trump Touches on Farm Bill, NAFTA, Rural Issues in Speech at AFBF Meeting

President Trump on Monday spoke to a crowd at the American Farm Bureau Federation meeting in Nashville, getting some much-needed facetime with rural voters.

The president has talked in rural areas since taking office, but sparingly, and the AFBF meeting was full of friendly faces, allowing Trump to deliver his speech to what several media outlets referred to as thunderous applause.

The upcoming negotiations on the 2018 farm bill was a hot topic, and the president said he supports a bill that includes crop insurance. He didn’t say, however, whether he still supports his May proposal to cut crop insurance funding by 36%.

He talked about the recently passed GOP tax bill, saying it will help agricultural businesses and families, and mentioned that easing regulations would help growers in myriad ways. Trump also said he signed an order that will expand broadband access in rural areas.

The other hot topic that many wanted to hear about was the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump didn’t say much on the issue, only that he’s working to “get a better deal” for farmers and manufacturers but that negotiations were difficult. He’s said in the past that if a deal between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico can’t be reached, he’s willing to scrap the trade agreement.

By all accounts, the president received a warm welcome from the AFBF crowd and touched on several issues important to rural America during his 35-minute speech. The 2018 farm bill – and how much funding crop insurance receives – and the result of the NAFTA negotiations likely will determine how warm his reception is if he speaks at the same event in 2019.

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3. North-Central U.S. to Get Hit By Arctic Blast Starting Tomorrow, NWS Says

Much of the north-central U.S. is now under a winter weather advisory or winter storm watch, as a system brings a combination of strong winds, snow, and blowing snow starting tomorrow.

Dangerous wind chills are also expected to accompany the storm system, the National Weather Service said in a report early Tuesday morning.

As much as 5 inches of snow are expected in parts of central Nebraska with most areas receiving 2 to 4 inches, according to the NWS. Winds are expected to gust as high as 45 mph.

Farther north in North Dakota, wind chills are expected to drop as low as -30˚F., which can be dangerous to exposed skin. Whiteout conditions are possible, the agency said.

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