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3 Big Things Today, July 26

Soybeans Rise as Bargain Hunters Jump; Soil Moisture Down Week Over Week.

1. Soybean Futures Rise After Three-Month Low Brings Bargain Hunters

Soybean futures rose overnight as bargain hunters bought up some contracts as prices hover around a three-month low.

Despite some 71% of the crop in good or excellent condition, demand has been moderately strong recently, which may be driving some buyers into the market amid low prices. Corn futures were little changed overnight as 76% of the crop earned top ratings, unchanged from the prior week despite extremely hot weather in which heat indexes topped 110˚F.

Some analysts expected crop conditions to decline week over week, though ample rainfall fell in parts of Iowa and Illinois, the largest growers of both soybeans and corn.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 7¾¢ to $9.74 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures for December delivery rose $2 to $336.50 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.33¢ to 30.29¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery were unchanged at $3.41¼ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat futures for September delivery fell 2¾¢ to $4.26¼ a bushel in Chicago, while Kansas City wheat declined 1¼¢ to $4.22 a bushel.


2. Soil Moisture Ratings Drop Even as Crop Conditions Remain Unchanged

The heat may not be hurting the corn and soybean ratings recently, but it is sapping some top and subsoil moisture from the ground.

Topsoil moisture nationally as of Sunday was 67% adequate or surplus. While that’s a lofty number, it’s down 3 percentage points from the prior week, according to the Department of Agriculture. Subsoil moisture nationwide fell to 70% adequate or surplus, down from 72% the prior week.

The declining figures belie crop ratings that show 76% of corn and 71% of soybeans in good or excellent condition, unchanged from the prior week and beating forecasts for 1-point declines. The wet weather in parts of the Midwest, mainly in Iowa and Illinois, helped prop up ratings.

Subsoil moisture in Iowa jumped from 85% adequate or surplus to 88% week over week, while Illinois ratings jump from 88% to a whopping 91% adequate or surplus.

Nebraska, on the other hand, saw ratings fall 5 percentage points to 72% adequate or surplus, while South Dakota was 54% adequate or surplus, down from 58% the prior week.   

While the crop conditions haven’t changed, the extremely hot weather is having an effect nationwide on soil moisture, though it seems most growers in Iowa and Illinois are living the good life this year.

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3. Rain Expected to Start in Nebraska, Kansas; Heat Threatens East Coast

Thunderstorms are expected to resume today in parts of central and eastern Nebraska and northern Kansas that have been mostly dry the past weeks, the National Weather Service said in a report on Tuesday morning.

“Thunderstorms are possible mainly later tonight across the area,” the NWS said. “A few of these storms may be severe, with hail the size of quarters and wind gusts to 60 mph the primary threats.”

Parts of eastern Iowa and western Illinois, already the prime spot to grow, will get more rain, adding to already-ample totals as the crop looks good in the area.

The heat dome that had been causing heat indexes topping 110˚F. in some areas has moved east and is now threatening the East Coast and mid-Atlantic, which is bracing for the extreme weather.

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