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Corn Jumps on Abandoned Acres, Dry Weather; Soybeans, Wheat Rise

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Corn gained the most in five weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the number of acres farmers were unable to plant surged, and as dry weather threatens Midwest crops. Soybeans and wheat rose.

Growers filed insurance claims on 3.411 million acres of corn they were unable to plant due to wet weather in May and June, up from 262,467 last year, USDA data show. Little or no rain has fallen in parts of Iowa and Illinois, the biggest growers of corn, in the past two weeks, National Weather Service data show. Prices are down 32 percent this year on government forecasts that output will rebound to a record after drought reduced the harvest in 2012.

“There’s a lot of dryness in the Corn Belt with no rain in the forecast,” Jamey Kohake, a broker and branch manager at Paragon Investments in Silver Lake, Kansas, said in a telephone interview. The number of acres that were abandoned “was in the ballpark of the range we were putting out,” he said. “Everybody knew it was going to be a big jump.”

Corn futures for December delivery climbed 3.7 percent to settle at $4.7225 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest increase since July 9.

Soybean futures for delivery in November gained 2.1 percent to $12.655 a bushel in Chicago, after reaching $12.69, the highest since July 24.

About 1.619 million acres of land originally slated for soybeans were left unplanted, according to the USDA. That compares with 159,579 in 2012, government data show.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 1.1 percent to $6.495 a bushel on the CBOT, the third advance in four days and the biggest this month.

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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