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3 Big Things Today, October 14, 2021

Grain, Bean Futures Higher Overnight; John Deere Workers Go On Strike.

1. Grains, Soybeans Higher in Overnight Trading

Grains and soybeans were higher in overnight trading on signs of demand.

Exporters reported sales of 161,544 metric tons of U.S. corn to unnamed buyers, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Sales of 330,000 metric tons of soybeans to China and another 198,000 metric tons to unknown countries also were reported yesterday, the USDA said in a report.

On Tuesday, exporters said Mexico bought 165,000 metric tons of U.S. corn.

Still, capping prices are expectations for ample supplies. In its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report this week, the USDA raised its outlook for corn and soybean stockpiles.

Corn inventories at the end of the 2021-2022 marketing year on Aug. 31 are now pegged at 1.5 billion bushels, up from the September outlook for 1.408 billion bushels. That also topped expectations in a Reuters poll of analysts of 1.432 billion bushels.

Production was projected at 15.019 billion bushels, up from last month’s forecast for 14.996 billion bushels. Analysts were expecting output of 14.973 billion bushels.

Soybean stockpiles are now forecast at 320 million bushels, up from the prior month’s outlook for 185 million and above analysts’ expectations for 300 million bushels.

Production in the 2021-2022 marketing is seen at 4.448 billion bushels, the USDA said in its monthly report. That’s up from the September projection for 4.374 billion bushels and just ahead of the 4.415 billion projected by analysts polled by Reuters.

Wheat stockpiles at the end of the grain’s marketing year on May 31 are seen at 580 million bushels, down from the previous month’s outlook for 615 million bushels. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting inventories of 576 million bushels.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 4¢ to $5.16¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat futures for December delivery added 5¢ to $7.23¾ a bushel, while Kansas City futures rose 6¢ to $7.27¾ a bushel.

Soybean futures for November delivery were up 5¾¢ to $12.01 a bushel. Soymeal rose $1.90 to $313.60 a short ton, while soy oil gained 0.17¢ to 59.76¢ a pound.

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2. Deere Employees Strike After Sides Fail to Reach Agreement

John Deere employees who are members of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, also known as UAW, began a strike at midnight after negotiators failed to reach a labor agreement.

The union said in a statement that members at John Deere went on strike in a bid to earn “decent” wages, a retirement plan, and implement "fair” rules for workers.

“These are skilled, tedious jobs that UAW members take pride in every day,” Mitchell Smith, the Region 8 director for the union, said in the statement. “Strikes are never easy on workers or their families but John Deere workers believe they deserve a better share of the pie, a safer workplace, and adequate benefits.”

Chuck Browning, the director of the UAW Agricultural Implement Department, said the union will continue negotiations until members’ goals are met.

John Deere said in its own statement that the strike will affect more than 10,000 employees at 14 facilities in the U.S.

Brad Morris, the vice president of labor relations for the company, said Deere will continue negotiating with union workers until a deal is reached and the strike is ended. At this point, the statement said, Deere has no estimate of when employees will come back to work.

“We are determined to reach an agreement with the UAW that would put every employee in a better economic position and continue to make them the highest paid employees in the agriculture and construction industries,” Morris said.

The UAW said more than 10,000 workers at the companies facilities have set up picket lines.

“Our members and their families appreciate the community support they have already gotten,” Ron McInroy, the director of UAW region 4, said in a statement. “Strikes are not easy, but some things are worth fighting for.”

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3. Freeze Warnings and Frost Advisories Issued in Parts of Nebraska

Freeze warnings and frost advisories are in effect for much of central Nebraska as temperatures overnight dropped, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures dropped as low as 28°F. in parts of the Nebraska panhandle and areas in southwest and west-central Nebraska, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

A freeze warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Central Time.

In northwestern Arkansas and southwestern Missouri, meanwhile, excessive rain has led to flood watches, the agency said.

From 2 to 5 inches of precipitation have already fallen in the region with another .5 inch on the way, the NWS said. Storms will continue tonight into Friday.

“A band of heavy rain is expected to set up across the area later tonight and through tomorrow morning,” the agency said. Another 2 to 4 inches of precipitation is expected with some areas seeing even more. 

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