corn against blue skies

Weekly Market Commentary: Keep close eyes on the hot, dry forecast across major US planting areas


Quick glance:

  • Crop ratings continue to lack improvement with corn and soybeans only jumping 1% good to excellent each 
  • Grain markets continuously climb upwards with hotter and drier weather in the forecast for major planting areas
  • July’s WASDE report bumped prices up 

Crop Ratings

  • Last week’s corn and soybean condition ratings ranked the crops’ conditions the 5th lowest since 1989. Crop conditions showed a general lack of improvement this week, with soybeans jumping only by 1% to 54% good to excellent, and corn also improving only 1% to 58% good to excellent.
  • Corn silking remains behind schedule in the Midwest, at 17% nationally – far behind the 5-year average of 42%. Soybean blooming is 22% complete nationally, behind the 5-year average of 49%.


  • Grain markets continue to rise as forecasts for hot and dry weather across most of the major planting areas increase fears that crop conditions are getting worse. Expect weather forecasts to take the driver seat in pushing the markets around for the next 4-6 weeks.
  • One of the worst scenarios for yield is wet conditions during planting and early development, then a rapid dry down with high heat. Root systems will not be developed well and will not have time to grow into the sub-soil before running out of moisture.

July World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report

  • Last week’s supply and demand report moved Ag prices higher after its release. As expected, the USDA utilized figures from the June 28 Acreage Report to develop the production estimates, which were higher than trade expectations and likely inaccurate. 
  • USDA is resurveying farmers this month with intentions to incorporate that updated data into its next supply and demand report on August 12.    


  • The National Bureau of Statistics reported China produced 24.7 million tonnes of pork in the first half of 2019, only a 5.5% decrease from last year. The bureau also notes that the Asian country's hog herd declined by 15% from the previous year to 347.61 million head. Conflicting numbers from China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs show a different story. The ministry said the herd decreased by 25.8% in June from a year earlier, with 26.7% of the sow herd gone. 
  • Many have questioned official data on China's hog herd. Reuters reports farm industry experts estimate as much as half of China’s sows have either died from ASF or were slaughtered prematurely due to the spreading disease.