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3 Big Things Today, November 28

Soybean Futures Rise Overnight; MFP Rate Announcement Likely in Early December.

1. Soybeans Again Higher Ahead of Group of 20 Meeting

Soybean futures were again higher in overnight trading ahead of talks between the U.S. and China at the Group of 20 meeting set to start later this week in Argentina.

All eyes are on the meeting as presidents Trump and Xi Jinping are scheduled to discuss trade.

Tensions appeared to be cooling, but then heated up after China’s initial proposal was reportedly deemed unworthy of consideration and the U.S. Trade Representative issued a report stating China hadn’t backed off its “unfair” trade practices and continues to steal intellectual property, an assertion Beijing has denied.

In a Wall Street Journal report yesterday, Trump said he’s considering calling for a tariff on imports of iPhones and laptops that are made in China but sold in the U.S. He also said he isn’t planning on reducing the tariff-rate increase from 10% to 25% that’s scheduled to go into effect on January 1.

Still, investors are squaring positions ahead of the G20 meeting with some apparently optimistic that at least a cursory trade deal will be hammered out.

Soybeans for January delivery gained 2¼¢ to $8.77¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soymeal added 70¢ to $307.80 a short ton, and soy oil rose 0.25¢ to 27.64¢ a pound. 

Corn futures for December delivery rose ½¢ to $3.69 a bushel.

Wheat for March delivery gained 1¼¢ to $5.07 ¾ a bushel overnight and Kansas City futures added 3¾¢ to $4.87¼ a bushel.


2. MFP Payment Announcement Likely in Early December, Reportedly Close to First Rate

Prior to the midterm elections, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said there’d be a second round of so-called Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments, and statements from the agency suggest they’ll be similar to the first round that were sent out, according to a report from the University of Illinois.

The USDA in September announced the initial payment rates under the program for nine commodities – the effective payment rate for corn, for example, was $0.005 (or one-half cent) per bushel, for pork it was $4 a head, and for beans it was $0.825 a bushel.

To put it into context, a farmer with a 64-bushel average yield for soybeans will receive a first MFP payment of $53 per acre (64 acres × $0.825 a bushel), economists Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, Jonathan Coppess, and Nick Paulson from the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois said in their report.

The second round of payments is expected to be announced in early December, the report said.

Producers have until January 15 to complete the necessary forms to receive their payments, which can be completed in person at a local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office, or printed, completed, signed and then faxed, e-mailed, or mailed to the FSA, the economists said.

“On form CCC-910, the applicant lists the producer’s share of production of each of the nine covered commodities,” the University of Illinois report said. “MFP payments will be made on this reported production amount. If an applicant has an FSA power of attorney and is reporting share rent landowners’ production for MFP, the applicant should be sure to include all of the landowners’ production from all farms in all counties and in all states.”

To be eligible for payments, a producer must have an adjusted gross income tax for the three years from 2014-2016 of less than $900,000 and be in compliance with “highly erodible land” and wetland conservation regulations.


3. Winter Weather Advisory Issued For Dakotas as Freezing Rain, Snow Likely This Afternoon

A winter weather advisory is in effect for much of the Dakotas this morning as a mix of sleet and snow is expected, according to the National Weather Service.

Total snow accumulations are expected to be light, but sleet and freezing rain accumulations will cause a “light glaze,” making travel dangerous, the NWS said in a report early Wednesday morning. The winter weather advisory will be in effect from noon to 6 p.m. local time.

Similar weather also is expected in parts of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio starting tomorrow and lasting through Tuesday, the agency said.

“A brief period of light freezing rain and sleet is possible on Thursday before changing to rain,” the NWS said. Thunderstorms are also possible starting Friday and lasting into the weekend.

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