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3 Big Things Today, November 3, 2021

Grains, Beans Lower Overnight; Deere Workers to Remain on Strike.

1. Grains and Soybeans Lower in Overnight Trading

Corn and soybeans were lower and wheat fell from the highest level in nine years in overnight trading as investors take a breather.

Traders pulled back in the overnight session after soybeans surged yesterday and wheat hit the highest since 2012.

Recent signs of demand and relatively tight supplies drove up prices in recent weeks.

Crop conditions that unexpectedly declined also gave prices a boost before today. About 45% of U.S. winter wheat was rated good or excellent at the start of the week, down from 46% a week earlier.

Some 87% of the winter-wheat crop was planted as of Sunday, up from 80% a week earlier and just ahead of the prior five-year average of 86%, the USDA said; 67% of the crop had emerged from the ground.

About 74% of the U.S. corn crop was harvested at the start of the week, up from 66% a week earlier and the average of 66% for this time of the year, the agency said. Growers have collected 79% of their soybeans, up from 73% the previous week and the normal 81%, the USDA said.

Still, the pace of harvest slowed week-to-week as some rain moved into the Corn Belt, keeping heavy equipment from muddy fields in some areas.  

Potentially underpinning prices, however, are forecasts for freezing weather in parts of the Southern Plains and through the eastern Midwest, where winter wheat is grown.

Corn futures for December delivery were down 3¼¢ at $5.69¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 4¢ to $12.52¼ a bushel. Soymeal declined $1 to $336.20 a short ton, while soy oil rose 0.14¢ to 62.13¢ a pound.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 2¢ to $7.89½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures dropped 3¾¢ to $7.94½ a bushel.

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2. Deere Workers Remain on Strike After Voting No

John Deere union members will remain on strike after voting down the latest offer from the company.

Members voted down the tentative agreement with 55% against and 45% for the deal, according to a statement from the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, also known as UAW.

“The strike against John Deere and Company will continue as we discuss next steps with the company,” the union said. “Pickets will continue and any updates will be provided through the local union.”

The strike affects more than 10,000 workers in 12 facilities in Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas, the company said.

This is the second vote from the union and was much closer than the previous attempt when 90% of UAW members voted against ratification.

The union and John Deere reached a tentative agreement on Saturday, but members said they’d remain on strike throughout the voting process. Terms of the deal that was ultimately voted down weren’t released by the union.

Deere, however, said in a statement yesterday that it offered a 10% wage increase immediately and another 30% in increases over the length of the contract, healthcare with no premiums, deductibles or co-insurance, paid parental leave, autism care, and other benefits.

The company also said it offered “groundbreaking” retirement packages and a ratification bonus of $8,500.

Workers at parts facilities in Atlanta and Denver, however, voted yes on a separate agreement with “identical” terms, Deere said in a statement.


2. Freeze Warnings Issued From Southern Plains to Atlantic Ocean

Freeze warnings and watches have been issued from the Southern Plains east to the Atlantic seaboard, according to maps from the National Weather Service.

In southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles where hard-red winter wheat is growing, temperatures may fall to about 28°F. while some isolated areas could drop as low as 23°F., the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Temperatures need to remain at about 28°F. or below for several hours before wheat damage occurs.

In southern Missouri and Illinois, temperatures overnight were forecast to drop as low as 30°F., while in parts of Ohio temperatures got down to about 27°F., the agency said.

Freeze warnings will remain in effect throughout much of the morning in parts of Kentucky, West Virginia into Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, the NWS said.

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