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3 Big Things Today, July 25

Corn, Beans Mixed Overnight; Crop Ratings Decline as Hot Weather Takes Toll.

1. Grains Lower, Soybeans Higher as Traders Weigh Better Weather, Worse Conditions

Grains were lower in overnight trading while soybeans were higher, as investors weigh rainfall and cooler temperatures in the Midwest against lower crop ratings.

A band of storms rolled through parts of Kansas and Missouri over the weekend where it’s been extremely hot recently, boosting crop prospects in the central Corn Belt.

Lower temperatures in the 80s are expected this week with much of Nebraska and Iowa, which last week reached the triple digits.

Still, crop ratings for both corn and soybeans declined week to week, leaving some wondering how much damage was caused by the extreme temperatures.

Corn for December delivery fell 3½¢ to $3.87¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybeans for November delivery rose 8¢ to $10.18 a bushel overnight. Soy meal gained $2.10 to $334.80 a short ton, and soy oil futures added 0.30¢ to 34.35¢ a pound.

Wheat for September delivery declined 4½¢ to $4.84¼ a bushel overnight, and Kansas City futures lost 3¾¢ to $4.83¾ a bushel.

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2. Extreme Heat Last Week Takes Toll on Crops as Ratings Decline

The extremely hot weather last week took a toll on crops as ratings for corn, beans, and wheat all declined.

Corn was rated 62% good or excellent as of Sunday, according to the USDA, down 2 percentage points from the prior week and 1 point from analyst estimates.

About 67% of the crop was silking, just behind the prior five-year average of 69%, and 8% was in the dough stage, well behind the average of 13% for this time of year.

The percentage of soybeans that earned top ratings dropped to 57% from 61% a week earlier, the USDA said in a report. Analysts had pegged 60% good or excellent.

About 29% was setting pods, just ahead of the average, and 69% was blooming, ahead of the five-year average of 67%, according to the government.

Spring wheat was 33% good or excellent, down 1 percentage point but in line with consensus. About 96% was headed, slightly topping the five-year average of 94%, the USDA said.

Temperatures all last week were in the 90s or 100s with indexes in some areas of the central Midwest topping 115˚F. The heat dome was centered over northern Missouri but affected at least eight surrounding states, according to the National Weather Service.

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3. Heat Advisories Issued For Central Midwest, Band Narrower Than Last Week

More heat advisories have been issued for parts of the Midwest, as temperatures and heat indexes in some states rise to last week’s levels, though the heat won’t be as widespread.

The latest heat advisory is for a narrow stretch of land that parallels Interstates 29 and 35 from about Omaha to the north down toward Dallas. Like last week, temperatures are expected to be in the 90s with heat indexes topping out around 110˚F., according to the National Weather Service.

The heat is expected to last through today and into tomorrow before moderating on Thursday. Cooler weather is in the forecast with temperatures in the 80s and low 90s heading into the weekend, the NWS said in an early report today.

Some thunderstorms are expected to form over South Dakota today before moving south into Nebraska, which should give crops in both states a boost.

Farther east, flood warnings abound in much of northern and central Illinois into Indiana. More rain is expected to fall in the region starting tomorrow and carrying on into Thursday, according to the NWS.

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