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3 Big Things Today, March 25, 2020

Soybeans, Grains Rise Overnight; Hard Red Winter Wheat Conditions Improve.

1. Soybeans and Grains Slightly Higher in Overnight Trading

Soybeans and grains were slightly higher in overnight trading after a $2 trillion economic stimulus plan was hammered out by the Senate.

The White House and Senate came to an agreement overnight with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announcing the deal around 1 a.m. in Washington, DC.

The details of the deal haven’t been released yet, but reports indicate that $500 billion will go to help ailing companies, $350 billion will be spent on small business loans, $250 billion will be used for direct payments to Americans, and $250 billion will go toward unemployment insurance

The number of cases of COVID-19 globally now stands at 428,405 with the death toll at 19,120, according to Johns Hopkins University. That’s up from about 387,000 cases and 16,595 deaths a day earlier.

In the U.S., the number of cases has jumped to 55,225 from about 36,000 a day earlier, and the death toll now tops more than 700 people, the university said.  

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 2¼¢ to $8.89 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal dropped $2.70 to $329.40 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.22¢ to 26.77¢ a pound.

Corn futures added 1¾¢ to $3.49 a bushel overnight.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 3¢ to $5.64½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures fell ¾¢ to $4.90 a bushel.

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READ MORE: Ag markets trade slightly higher Wednesday

2. Winter Wheat Crop Conditions in Southern Plains Improve Week to Week, USDA Says

Hard red winter wheat ratings improved in Southern Plains states to start the week, according to the USDA.

In Kansas, the biggest producer of the grain, the hard red crop was rated 48% good or excellent as of Sunday, up from 46% a week earlier, the USDA said in a report.

Topsoil moisture in the state is 83% adequate or surplus while subsoil moisture was 83% adequate or surplus this week. That’s up from 80% and 79% a week earlier, respectively, the agency said.

In Oklahoma, 77% of the wheat crop was in good or excellent condition at the start of the week, jumping from 67% the previous week. About 27% of Oklahoma wheat was jointing as of Sunday, up from 10% a week earlier.

In Texas, 49% of winter wheat earned top ratings, according to the USDA. That’s up from 36% a week earlier. Some 26% of the crop was headed as of Sunday, up from 25% a week earlier.

About 33% of the corn crop was planted at the start of the week, up from 32% a week earlier, as rain fell in parts of the state. In Texas, 29% of the sorghum crop was planted, up from 28% a week earlier, the agency said.

Statewide, 60% of topsoil had adequate or surplus moisture, while 64% of subsoil had adequate or surplus moisture, the USDA said.

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3. Red-Flag Warning Issued in Colorado and Kansas, While Fog’s a Problem in Central U.S.

A red-flag warning has been issued for much of eastern Colorado and parts of western Kansas amid strong winds and low humidity, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds in the region will be sustained at around 15 to 20 mph with gusts of up to 25 mph, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Relative humidity is expected to be 15% to 20%. The combination of wind and low humidity will allow any fires that develop to spread quickly, the agency said.

Farther east, dense fog warnings have been issued in a stretch of land from central Kansas into Indiana and southern Michigan.

In eastern Iowa and western Illinois, visibility is down to ¼ mile or less, which could impact driving conditions, the NWS said.

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