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Crop conditions dip 2% -- USDA

Jeff Caldwell 07/15/2013 @ 3:40pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Corn and soybean conditions took a baby step lower in the last week, with both dipping 2%, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.

Sixty-six percent of the nation's corn crop is in good to excellent condition, while 65% of the nation's soybeans are in the same shape, according to Monday's report.

These numbers, based largely on largely hotter, drier weather pattern settling in over the bulk of the Midwest, will likely be enough to reverse the lower trend in the corn market Monday, but not by a whole lot, says Kluis Commodities broker and market analyst Al Kluis.

"The nation's corn crop is now rated 66% good-to-excellent, down 2 percentage points from last week. The drop was a little larger than the trade expected," Kluis says. "Today's report is slightly positive for prices. I expect corn to start out 1 to 2 cents higher tonight."

A similar price reaction is likely for soybeans, Kluis adds. "The soybean number is also viewed as positive and will likely take soybeans up by 2 to 3 cents tonight," Kluis adds.

Higher prices could be on the way if Monday's crop numbers are the beginning of a new trend: "Be patient," he says. "If crop ratings are starting to decline, odds are good that new-crop prices will start to rally."

And that could be just what's happening around the countryside, farmers say. Some report that corn leaves are starting to roll during the heat of the day.

"Not only are northwest Iowa crops behind, they are now very dry. I saw some fields with tops of corn leaves starting to burn," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk frequent contributor gregs3821958. "Nebraska looks better, but leaves are wilting, and it looks like we are only a few days from from hearing about an emerging heat/lack of rain problem from Sioux City down to Lincoln and I-80 west."

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