Grain markets are a shade lower this morning due to steady-to-better ratings that came with yesterday’s weekly report and partly because the lack of any big news regarding the U.S. – China trade talks. Corn is currently down 3 cents and soybeans are currently down 5 cents. The USDA weekly crop progress report showed the national corn condition rating improved to 58% GTE (57% expected, 57% GTE last week, 70.5% 5-year average). The national soybean rating remained the same for a 3rd consecutive week coming in at 54% GTE (54% estimated, 54% GTE last week, 67.5% 5-year average). Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wisconsin all made improvements in their corn condition ratings. Here for the state of Wisconsin we increased 3 percentage points to end up at 63% GTE estimated. Overall, trade remains choppy with many still eyeing the August report that is set to be released on the 12th. Neither the bulls nor the bears are willing to stick their necks out too far. Unless we see a break through or break down regarding the U.S. – China trade talks or a big shift in weather, I believe we will continue to see the listless price action along with muted volume. Trade is concerned with some dry pockets in southeastern Iowa and central Illinois where there have been talks of corn hurting for rain. Trade will continue to keep an eye on the weather, particularly paying attention to chances for precipitation in the areas that are already dry. The bulk of the corn crop is still in pollination stage so the weather for the next 10-15 days remains critical for this year’s crop. I believe if we see a breakthrough in the weather forecasts and precipitation falls on the dry areas we will see a further breakdown in prices. I would continue to advise producers to put in firm offers with your buyers, especially leading up to the report on the 12th. Also, if producers are sitting on a good amount of old crop, I would advise them to sell some amount and take some risk away if the report releases bearish data. It isn’t safe to rule out the USDA throwing another curveball with the way this year has gone.
Have a great day!