Weather Forecasts Stir Futures Prices

Hotter, drier forecasts for the Midwest helped wake up weather bulls in the corn and soybean markets June 12, sending futures prices sharply higher.

Meteorologists said the U.S. and European weather forecasting models were more in agreement on Monday morning than last week, with both calling for a hotter, drier pattern for the 6-10-day period.

"The main difference between them today is that the U.S. model is showing a little more high pressure over the central and eastern part of the country than the European model," Meteorlogix forecaster Mike Palmerino told Reuters News Service.

That's a change from last week when the European model suggested a high-pressure ridge would push into the Midwest and the American model predicted cool, wet weather dropping out of Canada.

Weather concerns remain focused on the western Corn Belt, especially Nebraska and western Iowa, where soil moisture remains on the low side.

While Nebraska crops got some help from rainfall last week, much of western Iowa was dry.

The advance of tropical storm Alberto on Florida also appeared to spur some weather fears in Sunday night’s electronic futures trading session.

Alberto on Monday was threatening to become the first hurricane of the 2006 season and the arrival of the first named storm this early in the season supports forecasts for another active Atlantic hurricane season.

There may also be concerns that the storm could spread Asian rust northward out of Florida, although appearances of the fungus have been minimal this spring and at this point, the threat of an outbreak in the Midwest is already rapidly diminishing.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com/brockreport/.