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3 Big Things Today, August 21

Soybeans, Grains Lower Overnight; Money Managers Less Bullish on Corn, Bearish on Beans.

1. Soybeans, Grains Decline Overnight Ahead of Annual Crop Tour

Soybean and grain futures declined in overnight trading despite uncertainty about what scouts will find on the annual crop tour that starts today.

It’s unsure what the tour, in which dozens of scouts will gauge yield on thousands of farms this week, will find as precipitation this year has been variable and reports have fluctuated.

The USDA earlier this month unexpectedly raised its projections for yield, a notion some dismissed. In some areas including the Northern Plains and western Midwest, however, recent rains have given crops a much-needed drink of water that could mean better yields.

Still, much of North Dakota and a chunk of South Dakota are still in extreme or exceptional drought, the worst designations from the U.S. Drought Monitor. Parts of south-central Iowa are also in extreme drought, according to the monitor’s map.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 6¼¢ to $9.31½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal lost $2.60 to $297.90 a short ton, and soy oil futures added 0.03¢ to 34¢ a pound.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 3¢ to $3.62¾ a bushel in Chicago.

Wheat for December delivery declined 2¼¢ to $4.40¼ a bushel in Chicago. Kansas City futures dropped 2¢, also to $4.40¼ a bushel.


2. Money Managers Bearish on Soybeans, Least Bullish on Corn Since July 3

Money managers became bearish on soybeans for the first time since the first week in July and were less bullish on corn in the seven days through August 15.

Investors held 22,651 net-short positions, or bets on lower prices, in soybean futures last week, the first such position since July 3, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Speculators reduced their bullish bets on corn to 28,885 futures contracts, the smallest net-long position since the same date, the CFTC said in a report.

Money managers have become less bullish on corn and bearish on beans as the weather in recent weeks has improved in the Corn Belt. The Northern Plains has finally received some rain, and dry parts of Iowa saw precipitation last week, according to the National Weather Service.

The amount of North Dakota that’s in extreme or exceptional drought has shrunk, albeit by only a small amount, in the past two weeks, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The same negative tone stands for hard red winter wheat, where the number of net-long positions, or bets on higher prices, fell to 34,494 contracts from the prior week’s 48,693, the CFTC said.

Soft red winter wheat investors were more bearish, reporting a net-short position of 36,337 contracts, up from a net-short position of 12,054 contracts, according to the government.

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3. Flash Flood Watch in Effect For Northern Missouri May Impact Eclipse Watchers

A flash flood watch will go into effect this evening and persist through Tuesday morning for several counties in northern Missouri.

Several storms are active in the area, which may mean heavy rainfall in short amounts of time starting late today, according to the National Weather Service.

Low-lying areas including some farm fields are at risk of flooding, but one major concern is people who have flocked to the area to watch the solar eclipse that will hit around midday and last for a few hours.

“Multiple rounds of storms producing heavy rainfall are expected to develop this evening and continue through the overnight hours,” the NWS said in a morning report. “This flooding threat is of particular concern to those camping outdoors tonight, and especially those not familiar with the local area, typical flood-prone areas, and low water crossings.”

Farther east, there’s a chance for isolated thunderstorms in parts of eastern Illinois, northern Indiana, southern Michigan, and Ohio, according to the NWS.

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