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Wheat May Rise as Dry U.S. Weather Curbs Winter-Grain Prospects

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat may rise for the first time in three sessions as dry weather in the U.S. southern Great Plains cuts prospects for recently planted winter varieties.

Parts of Kansas, the biggest grower of winter wheat in the U.S., and Oklahoma have received little or no rainfall in the past 30 days, National Weather Service data show. That may prevent plants from establishing roots into the dry soil. The crop is sown in September and October, goes dormant for the winter and then starts growing again in April.

“If we don’t get some of these fall rains, you can’t count on winter replenishing soil moisture,” Jason Britt, the president of Central States Commodities Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, said by telephone. “They’re still in drought. That’s become a lot bigger story because we’re going to need to produce normal crops.”

Wheat futures for December delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $8.645 a bushel at 10:08 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price through Oct. 26 was down 4.3 percent in October.

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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