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Evening Edition | Friday, July 8, 2022

In tonight's Evening Edition, read about drought in the Midwest, commodity prices, and news about the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Drought in the Midwest

Fifteen percent of the Midwest is affected by drought, twice as much of the region as a week ago, said the Drought Monitor on Thursday, as corn and soybean crops entered their reproductive stages.

Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri had the largest increases, up 10 percentage points or more, reports Chuck Abbott.

In most areas, drought was listed as “moderate,” the first designation in the four-step rating system that progresses to “severe,” “extreme,” and “exceptional.”

Commodity Prices

Steered by fears of recession and a clearer picture of this year’s global grain harvest, the sky-high commodity prices fueled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are losing momentum, analysts said on Thursday.

The USDA was likely to scale back its estimates of record-high farm-gate prices for this year’s wheat and soybean crops despite the uncertainties caused by warfare in the Black Sea region.

Futures prices have crested, with high commodity prices and fears of recession whittling down demand for grains, said agricultural economist Scott Irwin of the University of Illinois.

Renewable Fuel Standard

Oil refining company and labor union representatives pressed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at a virtual meeting last week to lower costs of the nation's biofuel blending program when it resets the policy next year, according to sources familiar with the call.

The refining industry and unions representing its workers have grown more concerned about the impact of an expected overhaul of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

It requires refiners to blend billions of gallons per year of biofuels like ethanol into the nation's fuel or buy credits called RINs from those that do.

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