“The damage has been done to the corn crop,” Peter Meyer, a senior director of agriculture commodities at PIRA Energy Group in New York, said by telephone today. “Now the weather is starting to become more of a factor in the soybean markets.”
The condition of the U.S. corn crop worsened for an eighth straight week amid the worst Midwest drought in a generation. The worst of the drought occurred when corn plants were going through the critical pollination stage last month. Soybeans, which normally are planted later in the Midwest, are just now entering reproductive stages, so they have more time to grow.
About 24 percent of the corn was in good or excellent condition as of yesterday, down from 26 percent a week earlier and 77 percent in mid-May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. An estimated 29 percent of the soybeans got the top ratings, down from 31 percent. Both crops are in the worst shape for this time of year since a drought in 1988.
Corn futures reached a record $8.1775 a bushel today on the Chicago Board of Trade and have surged 28 percent this month. Soybeans are up 15 percent in July. During the past week, little or no rain fell in parts of Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, the largest corn-growing states, National Weather Service data show.