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Wheat Drops as Kansas Snow Eases Drought Concern; Corn Declines

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Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat fell the most in seven weeks as snowfall expected in Kansas, the biggest U.S. grower of winter varieties, eased concern that drought in the Great Plains will damage crops. Corn fell, and soybeans rose.

About 20 inches (51 centimeters) of snow is expected in Dodge City, Kansas, from a storm that started yesterday, according to the National Weather Service. Nine inches has fallen in Plainville, in the north-central part of the state, government data show. Parts of Kansas are in an exceptional drought, meaning deficient soil moisture and likely crop losses, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

“There’s some moisture to the snow, and as much as we got, it’s going to be beneficial,” Larry Glenn, an analyst at Frontier Ag in Quinter, Kansas, said by telephone. “People were so excited about it - the wheat farmers and those who raise cattle. It’s not like we had two days of rain, but the snow is definitely going to help.”

Wheat futures for delivery in May fell 2.9 percent to settle at $7.24 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest decline since Jan. 2. The price is down 6.9 percent for the year. In 2012, prices jumped 19 percent after the worst drought in more than 70 years left crop conditions in the Plains at their worst since at least 1985. Trading today was more than double the 100-day average for that time of day.

Corn futures for delivery in May dropped 1.5 percent to $6.855 a bushel in Chicago. Farmers in the U.S., the largest grower and exporter last year, will produce a record 14.53 billion bushels this year, up 34.8 percent from last year’s drought-reduced harvest, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today.

Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.1 percent to $14.705 a bushel on the CBOT, the fourth straight gain. Earlier, the contract fell as much as 1 percent.

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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