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Slow crops seen pushing up prices

Jeff Caldwell 07/08/2013 @ 4:27pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

The U.S. corn crop is almost 40% behind where it was a year ago in its silking progress. Though 2012 was something of an anomaly compared to other recent years (the previous average pace by this week is still 20%), this week's 6% corn-silking pace shows how far the crop is from catching up to the normal pace for this time of year, Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report shows.

Though the nation's soybean crop made major strides toward full emergence, there remains 5% of the crop still in the ground, and to Market Analyst Al Kluis, that's the biggest number in Monday's report. The net effect of Monday's report will likely be higher corn and soybean prices heading into the overnight trade, likely spilling over into Tuesday's session.

"There are still a lot of first-crop soybeans to still emerge in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. Nationwide, about 2.3 million acres of first-crop soybeans have not yet emerged. This is a lot, and this is as of July 8 . . . not June 8," Kluis says. "Today's report is slightly positive for prices. I expect corn to start out 1 to 2 cents higher tonight. The soybean number is also viewed as positive and will likely take soybeans up by 2 to 5 cents tonight."

Looking ahead, a drier forecast will likely provide a week of decent crop progress, allowing Corn Belt crops to chip away at the gap between "normal" development and this year's delayed season.

"The warm, dry weather last week was very welcome, and crops responded and look much better," says Iowa ag secretary Bill Northey. "Everything has been delayed by the cool wet start to the growing season, but the drier weather has helped both the corn and soybean crop and allowed farmers to get back in the fields to finish any needed fieldwork."

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