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3 Big Things Today, August 23, 2022

Grains, Soybeans Jump Overnight; Weekly Export Inspections of Corn Rise

1. Grain and Soybean Futures Surge Overnight

Grains and soybeans jumped in overnight trading as the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour kicked off, showing less-than-ideal conditions in South Dakota.

Participants on the tour said they expect corn yields in South Dakota to average about 118.5 bushels an acre, down from 151.5 bushels forecast last year and down from the prior three-year average of 161.6 bushel an acre, Reuters reported.

Soybean pods in a 3-foot by 3-foot square average 871.4 this year, down from 996.9 last year and the average of 1,026.9, data from the tour show.

It wasn't as bad on the eastern side of the tour where participants inspected fields in Ohio.

Corn yield was estimated at 174.2 bushels an acre in the state, down from 185.1 bushels a year earlier, but ahead of the three-year average of 169 bushels an acre, according to the Reuters report.

Soybean pods in Ohio totaled 1,131.6 in a 3-by-3 plot, down from 1,195.4 a year ago but higher than the normal 1,038.4, tour data show.

A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that showed declining conditions for both corn and soybeans is helping boost prices this morning.

About 55% of the corn crop was in good or excellent condition as of Sunday, down from 57% a week earlier, the USDA said in a report. That's also down from the 60% that earned top ratings at the same point last year.

Four percent of the crop was mature at the start of the week, on par with the average for this time of year. Some 31% was dented, down from the 35% average, and 75% was silking versus the normal 79%, the government said.

Around 57% of soybeans were in good or excellent condition, down from 58% a week earlier. Eighty-four percent of the crop was setting pods, down slightly from the prior five-year average of 86%, the USDA said.

Wheat prices were being pressured this morning as the winter harvest finishes up and collection of spring crops rolls on.

About 95% of the winter-wheat crop in the U.S. was in the bin at the start of the week, just behind the 97% average for this time of year, the agency said.

The spring-wheat harvest continues, but at a much slower-than-normal pace. Only 33% of the crop was collected as of Sunday, and while that's up from the 16% that was harvested a week earlier, it's down from the prior five-year average of 54%, the USDA said.

Corn futures for December delivery jumped 15¢ to $6.44 a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 10¢ to $14.45 ¼ a bushel. Soymeal was up $5.30 to $420.70 a short ton, while soybean oil futures fell 0.09¢ to 66.26¢ a pound.

Wheat for December delivery surged 14 1/2¢ to $8.02 ¾ a bushel while Kansas City futures gained 15 3/4¢ to $8.81 ¾ a bushel.

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2. Export Inspections of Corn Higher Week-to-Week

Inspections of corn for export rose last week while bean and wheat assessments declined, according to data from the USDA.

Corn inspections in the seven days that ended on Aug. 18 improved to 740,508 metric tons from 539,336 tons a week earlier, the agency said in a report.

The total, however, was down from the 766,758 metric tons examined during the same week last year.

Soybean assessments fell to 686,583 metric tons last week from 768,328 tons the previous week. That was still higher than the 240,520 tons inspected during the same week in 2021, the USDA said.

Wheat inspections were reported at 594,273 metric tons, up from 389,914 tons the previous week, but down from the 729,288 tons examined during the same week last year, the agency said.

Since the start of the marketing year on Sept. 1, the government has inspected 53.8 million metric tons of corn for export. That's down from the 65.5 million tons assessed during the same timeframe a year earlier.

Soybean inspections since the beginning of September now stand at 56 million metric tons, down from 59 million tons during the same period last year, the Ag Department said.

Wheat assessments since the start of the grain's marketing year on June 1 now stand at 4.49 million metric tons, down from 5.77 million tons a year earlier, the USDA said in its report.

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3. Thunderstorms Possible in South Dakota and Minnesota Tuesday

Thunderstorms are possible in parts of central South Dakota and central Minnesota today, but the odds of severe weather are low, according to the National Weather Service.

Isolated storms are forecast for the area starting today and lasting throughout the week, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

"The main threat would appear to be lightning and gusty winds," the agency said.

Some non-severe storms also are possible in parts of northeastern Nebraska and west-central Iowa this afternoon.

Thunderstorm chances will persist throughout the rest of this week into early next week, the NWS said.

In the southern U.S., meanwhile, flood watches remain in effect in parts of Arkansas, Louisana and north Texas amid excessive rainfall in the region, the agency said.

"Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone locations," the NWS said. "Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas."

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