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Lower, Higher, Lower || Rain Returns to the Corn Belt

It's been another up-and-down week for the grain markets, as factors like rainfall running through the Corn Belt and possible export interruptions abroad helped the bears on Wednesday after several days of continued bearish prices due to continued speculation that this year's crop is shaping up to be a bin-buster.

Still, there was speculation this week that it's likely too early to count on a monster crop this fall, with reason to believe the extended dry spell of the last few weeks may have inflicted a little more crop damage than earlier estimates indicate.

On the agronomy front this week, a couple of big stories have arisen (besides weather speculation): First, soybean aphids are popping up in some Corn Belt soybean fields. Though they've yet to reach typical treatment thresholds, agronomists say if you have even a few in your fields, it's time to scout closely and be ready to treat in the next few weeks.

Speaking of treatment, if you're looking to knock down weeds in your fields, now may not be the best time to put down herbicide. "Although it is human instinct to try and spray something and do something about the tall, ugly weeds in our fields, we may be better off not spraying and not selecting for resistant biotypes," one weed scientist said this week.

Then, on the farm policy front, a federal official said this week that ethanol blending levels in the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) are currently being nailed down, and officials hope to "get it out the door as soon as possible." That process could be impeded, however, by potential courtroom challenges, possibly from the biofuels industry.

Finally, out on your place, what's your preferred wave when you meet a neighbor on the road? The single index finger? The hat tip? Check out what the rest of the ag crowd says, and add your wave to the chat!

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