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3 Big Things Today, March 21

Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading; Corn Yields Topping 200 Bushels Becoming Normal.

1. Soybeans Higher Overnight as Argentina Rain Likely Will Have Little Impact

Soybeans were higher in overnight trading as rain may hit only a small part of the Argentina crop.

The dry pattern in the country likely will cause stress for almost 70% of the country’s soybean and corn crops, Commodity Weather Group said in a forecast.

One weather model has any chance of rain “scaled back” late this week but it looks like some precipitation will fall in northern Argentina, the forecaster said. It will be mainly dry next week.

Allendale said some analysts believe that even if rain were to fall, it’s too little, too late.

Some showers are forecast in the latter part of the 16- to 30-day outlook, but that will have only a minor effect on harvest, CWG said.

Soybean futures for May delivery added 5½¢ to $10.33¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal rose $3.70 to $365.40 a short ton, and soy oil was down 0.01¢ to 31.73¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery was unchanged at $3.74½ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for May delivery rose ¼¢ to $4.53¼ a bushel overnight, while Kansas City futures fell 1¢ to $4.69 a bushel.

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2. Corn Yields of 200 Bushels an Acre, Soybeans Topping 60 Bushels More Common in Years Ahead

Corn yields of 200 bushels an acre or more have become “common” and soybean yields of 60 bushels an acre likely will become the norm moving forward, according to the University of Illinois.

Corn yields last year were the highest on record, while soybeans were the second-highest, according to the USDA.

Newly released county yield data show many counties from central Illinois through southern Minnesota averaged more than 200 bushels an acre in 2017, while many counties averaged better than 60 bushels an acre for soybeans, Gary Schnitkey, an economist with the University of Illinois, said in a report.

Of course, it won’t be like that year-in and year-out, and weather and other issues likely will rear their heads at some point, he said.

“Over time, county averages over 200 bushels per acre for corn and 60 bushels per acre for soybean likely will become more common,” he said. “As always, though, it is important to remember that weather and other growing conditions play a large role in determining yields. Lower-than-trend yields will happen across all counties sometime in the future.”

The average county yield last year was 176.6 bushels an acre, the highest average ever. It wasn’t just Corn Belt areas that had high yields. Some counties in Washington state, Idaho, Texas, lower Mississippi, Georgia, and Maryland had yields topping 200 bushels an acre, Schnitkey noted.

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3. Snow, Slick Roads Expected in Indiana, Ohio as Winter Weather Warning in Effect

While most of today’s weather headlines will be focused on the East Coast, much of the eastern Midwest also is getting blasted by winter weather.

A winter storm warning is in effect for parts of southern Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky this morning. Snow will continue and visibility is expected to drop below a quarter mile, according to the National Weather Service. As much as 3 inches are expected in the area this morning.

“As temperatures continue to fall to and just below freezing this morning, slick spots are expected to increase especially on side and untreated roadways,” the agency said in a report early Wednesday morning. “The morning commute will be negatively impacted in spots.”

A winter weather advisory is in effect for much of the same area, NWS maps show. An inch or 2 of snow is expected in the region, which will make roads slick and reduce visibility, the service said.

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