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3 Big Things Today, March 28

Wheat Futures Decline Overnight; Cash Rents to Follow Corn Prices in Illinois.

1. Wheat Futures Decline as More Rain Forecast For Southern Plains

Wheat futures were lower as rain is expected to continue tonight and tomorrow in parts of the Southern Plains.

Widespread showers are expected in parts of southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

The area has been dry for the better part of the past six months, according to the NWS. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows parts of the Southern Plains in an extreme or exceptional drought, the worst categories on the group’s scale.

Any rain now will boost plants that are emerging after overwintering the past several months.

Wheat for May delivery fell 2¾¢ to $4.4 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade, while Kansas City futures declined 2½¢ to $4.61½ a bushel.

Soybean futures for May delivery fell a penny to $10.18½ a bushel overnight. Soy meal rose 60¢ to $373 a short ton, and soy oil declined 0.07¢ to 31.51¢ a pound.

Corn futures for May delivery lost a penny to $3.73 a bushel in Chicago.

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2. Farm Group Says Cash Rents Should Remain Steady if Prices Don’t Rise in 2019

Most members of an Illinois farm group said they expect their cash rent to remain steady if corn prices remain at or near $3.50 a bushel next year, but many expect landowners will raise rents if prices rise.

Cash rents are expected to remain steady this year, and some 58% of Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ISPFMRA) members said they expect rent to stay about where they are should prices stick around $3.50 in 2019, roughly where they were in 2016 and 2017, according to a report from the University of Illinois.

About 36% said they’d expect a decrease in cash rents from $5 to $25 an acre should prices hover around that level in 2019. Six percent said they would expect an increase.

If prices rise to $4.20 a bushel, however, a whopping 70% of respondents said they’d expect cash rents to rise from $5 to $25 an acre in 2019, according to the report.

Only 14% said they’d expect their rent to remain unchanged, while 13% forecast their rent would rise from $25 to $50 an acre.

The ISPFMRA is an association of farm managers and rural appraisers. Farm managers care for the farmland of absentee landowners, offering services that include selecting farmer tenants, negotiating rental arrangements with farmer tenants, inspecting farmland, and providing reports to landowners, according to the University of Illinois.

Rural appraisers provide valuations of farm properties, mostly for legal purposes such as providing documentation for loans and providing prices used for settling estates.

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3. Storm Continues to Hit Large Area Stretching From Texas to Ohio

It’s not just the Southern Plains getting rain this morning.

A large storm continues to belt a large swath of land stretching from central Texas all the way northeast into southern Ohio.

Parts of Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio are all seeing precipitation from this storm, which is causing flooding in several of the states.

Flash-flood warnings are in effect in southern Missouri, which is just skirting the northern edge of the storm, after 3 inches of rain fell in a short amount of time, the NWS said. Low-water crossings are already under water in some areas.

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