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Corn shoots limit-up as heat slams crop

Jeff Caldwell 08/02/2011 @ 3:15pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Corn futures shot to the limit Tuesday on reports of deteriorating crop conditions, namely stemming from prevailing hot, dry weather over much of the Corn Belt.

At the end of Tuesday's trade, nearby corn was locked at $7.11 1/4 per bushel, up the 30-cent daily trading limit. Nearby soybeans were 16 3/4 per bushel higher at $13.70, while nearby wheat was 41 1/2 cents higher at $7.18 per bushel.

Private forecasters Cropcast Ag Services and the Commodity Weather Group both released information Tuesday showing crop conditions continue to be hampered by heat, especially with warmer temperatures lasting through the night, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report.

"Corn spooked on private yield estimates around 150. Loads of call buyers and put sellers adding to the rally...With the report next week this will be happening on a daily basis as the guestimates continue to flow in," says ag market analyst and ICAP Energy derivitaves manager in Chicago, Scott Shellady.

Meanwhile, more farmers say they're starting to second-guess the latest crop numbers. Conditions have not been near what they need to be to raise a crop anywhere near 160 bushels/acre, says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk member viperkev.

"There is no way the 158 [bushel-per-acre] national yield that USDA is predicting will happen. Has to be less then 2010 and that was 152. When 30% of the corn (or more) is planted in June it is not the recipe for trend line yields," he says. "Throw in a hot July and it almost guarantees much less then trend line. A matter of time before the numbers show up even if it has to wait until the combines roll."


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