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Wheat Falls as Rainfall Added to U.S. Plains Weather Forecasts

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures fell for a second day after weather forecasters predicted rain in parts of the southern U.S. Great Plains, where the worst drought since the 1930s threatens crops.

Some meteorologists now expect “measurable moisture” in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma, where hard-red winter varieties are grown, Omaha, Nebraska-based Telvent DTN said in a report. Parts of the region have had little or no rain in the past three months, National Weather Service data show.

“People are waiting to see if the precipitation comes through,” Mike Zuzolo, the president of Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting in Lafayette, Indiana, said by telephone before the DTN report was released. Forecasters are saying “that an inch of precipitation is coming to Kansas by the end of this week or this weekend,” he said.

Wheat futures for March delivery dropped 0.6 percent to settle at $7.7475 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price is down 2.2 percent in the past month.

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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