Rain, cold topsoil slowing crop progress
by Laura Lloyd
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Unseasonable cold in addition to moderate rainfall in the nation’s midsection focused attention again on the weather in grain futures markets. Coupled with heightening tensions in Ukraine, the weather prompted wheat futures to make double-digit gains early Monday.
The corn market also received a jolt on ideas too much precipitation may make fieldwork impossible this week in the Corn Belt, creating planting delays.
Early Monday Chicago, Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat futures at times were up close to 30 cents a bushel. Corn futures were up about 5 cents, continuing to trade a few cents above key support at $5 a bushel in the nearby May contract.
David Salmon, meteorologist at Weather Derivatives, said much of the Upper Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes regions will finish this week too wet for fieldwork.
Cold through the Midwest was notable too, although Salmon contends it will not damage the winter wheat crop coming out of dormancy in some areas. Salmon said low temperatures in most of Kansas and Missouri and points north would range from 20 degrees in much of Nebraska and the northern third of Illinois to 25 degrees almost to the Oklahoma border this week.
As a result, soil temperatures through most of the Corn Belt remain below the needed levels for planting, which for corn is 50 degrees.