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3 Big Things Today, August 26, 2021

Corn, Soybeans Lower Overnight; Ethanol Production Falls to Five-Month Low.

Here’s the top news of the day in agriculture.

1. Corn, Bean Futures Lower Overnight

Corn and soybeans were lower in overnight trading as rain falls in some parts of the U.S. Midwest.

Rains this week will favor the northwestern Corn Belt but may move south at times, Commodity Weather Group said in a report.

“Late stress has narrowed to” about a quarter of Midwest corn and soybeans, the forecaster said.

Capping losses, however, is another day of extremely hot weather in parts of the Corn Belt. Heat index values are expected to rise well into the 100s (˚F.) from Nebraska to Ohio.

Hot weather the past couple of weeks has reduced the condition of the crop.

Some 60% of the U.S. corn crop was in good or excellent condition at the start of the week, down from 62% the previous week, the Department of Agriculture said. And 4% of the crop was mature, on par with the five-year average. About 41% was dented and 85% was in the dough stage, the agency said in its report.

About 56% of soybeans earned top ratings, down one percentage point from the previous week, the USDA said; 3% were dropping leaves and 88% were setting pods.

Some 77% of the spring-wheat crop was in the bin at the start of the week, well ahead of the prior five-year average of 55% for this time of year, the agency said.

Still, the crop was in abysmal condition with only 11% rated good or excellent in mid-August, the last time the agency reported spring-wheat conditions.

Corn futures for December delivery lost 3¼¢ to $5.48½ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

 Soybean futures for November delivery fell 4¾¢ to $13.28 a bushel. Soymeal lost 10¢ to $352.70 a short ton, while soy oil dropped 0.58¢ to 60.66¢ a pound.

 Wheat futures for September delivery rose 7¢ to $7.32½ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 6¢ to $7.21 a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Drops to Five-Month Low

Ethanol output last week dropped to the lowest level in five months while stockpiles also declined.

Production of the biofuel fell to an average of 933,000 barrels a day in the week through Aug. 20 from 973,000 barrels a week earlier, according to the Energy Information Administration.

That’s the lowest since the seven days that ended on March 19.

In the Midwest, by far the biggest producing region, production declined to an average of 881,000 barrels a day. That’s down from 921,000 barrels the previous week and also the lowest level since mid-March, the EIA said in a report.

East Coast production fell to 12,000 barrels a day, on average, from 13,000 a week earlier.

Rocky Mountain output fell to an average of 8,000 barrels a day from 10,000 barrels, and West Coast production declined to an average of 8,000 barrels a day last week, the agency said.

Gulf Coast producers bucked the trend as output in the region increased to an average of 23,000 barrels a day last week, up from 23,000 barrels, the government said.

Inventories also declined in the week through Aug. 20, falling to the lowest level in more than five weeks.

Ethanol stockpiles declined to 21.223 million barrels from 21.558 million a week earlier. That’s the lowest level since July 9, the EIA said in its report.

3. Heat Advisories in Effect as Indexes Well Into Triple Digits

Hot weather will continue today from Nebraska to Ohio with heat indexes well into the triple digits.

In eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, heat indexes are forecast from 105˚F. to 109˚F., according to the National Weather Service.

In central Illinois, index values of up to 110˚F. are expected, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

“The effects of high heat are cumulative. This is a four-day heat event meaning that heat index values up to around 105˚F. are expected each afternoon. Warm nighttime temperatures will allow little recovery for those who are sensitive to heat. Heat-related illnesses will become more likely each day of the event.”

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