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3 Big Things Today, July 19

Crop Futures Fall on Wet Weather; Crop Ratings Remain at Lofty Levels.

1. Corn, Soybeans Lower as More Rain Expected in Midwest

Corn and soybean futures declined overnight, as more rain is forecast for parts of Iowa and Illinois, the biggest growers of both crops.

Thunderstorms are possible in parts of eastern Iowa into central Illinois today and tomorrow, according to weather forecasters. Temperatures are expected to be extremely high with heat indexes reaching almost 110˚F. today, but will continue to remain in the 70s overnight, which likely will keep plants from burning up.  

Prices also declined on the longer-term outlook, which has improved over the past few days. Some areas will be cooler than expected, while others are expected to see more rain than forecasters had originally predicted.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 12½¢ to $10.53¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures for December delivery declined $4.40 to $366.30 a short ton, and soy oil lost 0.17¢ to 31.30¢ a pound.

Corn futures for July delivery dropped 5½¢ to $3.57¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for September delivery fell 4¢ to $4.25½ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City wheat lost 4¢ to $4.16 a bushel.


2. Crop Conditions Remain at Lofty Levels, Subsoil Moisture Down a Point

Some 76% of the corn crop was in good or excellent condition as of Sunday, unchanged from the prior week, and soybean ratings also were unchanged with 71% earning top marks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report late Monday.

A pleasant mix of rainfall and warm, sunny weather the past few weeks has kept crop conditions at lofty levels. Last year at this time, 69% of corn and 62% of soybeans had top ratings.

In Iowa, a whopping 81% of corn was in good or excellent conditions along with 80% of soybeans. Some 80% of Illinois corn earned top ratings as did 76% of the state’s soybeans.  

While crop conditions continue to look extremely good nationwide, subsoil moisture actually declined due to the extremely high temperatures during the day. Some 72% of the country has adequate or surplus subsoil moisture, the USDA said. That’s down 1 percentage point from a week earlier and well below the 79% at the same time last year.

If the weather turns off hot and dry in August, it could still have a material effect on soybean yields, though with each rainstorm that moves through Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois, subsoil moisture will still remain historically high.

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3. Storms May Hit Central Midwest as Heat Advisories Continue

Hot weather and rain are on the docket for much of the Midwest today.

Parts of eastern Iowa, central Illinois, and southern Wisconsin could see rainfall in the next two days with some storms turning severe.

“A few strong to severe thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and this evening” in parts of central Illinois, the National Weather Service said in an advisory on Tuesday. “Damaging winds in excess of 60 mph are the primary threat.”

Heat advisories have been issued for much of the Midwest, stretching essentially from the Canadian border to Mexico and east to west from the Nebraska panhandle to Indiana’s eastern border. Heat indexes in some areas will peak at almost 110˚F., the NWS said.

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