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Wheat Futures Fall as Kansas Rain Boosts Crop Outlook

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures fell for the third straight session on speculation that rain in parts of Kansas, the biggest U.S. grower of winter varieties, will boost crop prospects.

Precipitation increased soil moisture in central and eastern counties in Kansas. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 81 percent of the state’s winter crop was planted as of Oct. 14, up from 65 percent a week earlier, while wheat dropped to a 13-week low.

“The rain was pretty widespread,” Jeff McReynolds, the owner of McReynolds Marketing & Investments in Hays, Kansas, said in a telephone interview. “The northwest part of the state didn’t get anything, so we still have a fairly sizeable dry patch, but for the rest of the state, this is going to be enough to allow the crop to be planted and germinate.”

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 0.1 percent to settle at $8.4775 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price has dropped 4.3 percent in three sessions.

In the U.S., wheat is the fourth-largest crop, valued at $14.4 billion in 2011, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at tdreibus@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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