Grain futures closed firm after low-volume volatile night.

Grain futures on a low-volume night opened firm before corn and soybeans fade into the night of showers broke out, as anticipated, in northern Minnesota, pushing corn and beans lower in the night session. But by the 5 AM morning forecast, corn and soybeans reverted higher, following wheat to close near the better levels of the night session. High temperatures break after today when more seasonal temperatures are offered this weekend, with a cool bias in the Midwest into the east. There will be several rain chances of Midwest rain in the next ten days, and the catch is most of the coverage of rain will be across an estimated 35-40% of the Central US. This leaves vast Midwest areas with sharply falling soil moisture and declining crop conditions and yield potential. The extended range forecast offers the return of an arid forecast for the 10-15 day period with warming temperatures.

The first day of the Wheat Quality Tour, which measured HRS yield potential in Southern and Eastern North Dakota, came back with a highly disappointing wheat yield of 29.5 BPA or down 32% from the 5-year average. The Tour group measured 100 fields, with some fields likely to be abandoned on low yield potential. Tour participants also reflected on the acute stress that drought is inflicting on corn/soybeans and other summer crops. The deepening drought will dramatically lower yield on all crops through the Dakotas, with minimal rains forecasted through August 10.

Bunge reported a 41% jump in profit today, which followed a 52% rise in the profit of ADM yesterday based on strong US export demand and rising US crop values. The growing and massive loss of non-US crops such as Brazilian corn, Russian wheat and all crops in Canada raise the need for huge US corn/soy crops to fill record large world demand. It's possible around the world, there has been a loss of 2 Bil Bu of non-US grain/oilseed production through July. Importers have been hoping for the classic July grain price collapse to secure coverage, but the losses noted have been preventing this from occurring. August could see a start of new index fund demand and demand pricing well ahead of harvest.

A strong high-pressure Ridge positioned over Colorado/Nebraska will weaken and retrograde south and west in the coming days. This allows for a front to pass through the Central US on Friday (and the weekend) with seasonal temperatures. Highs will retreat from the oppressive 90's to lower 100's to seasonal 80's to low 90's. The cooler temps and southward push of the Ridge allow for several rain bands as systems ride over the top of the Ridge. One band of rainfall will stretch from E Dakota thru SW Iowa and Missouri on Friday. Rain totals are estimated in a range of .25-1.00″ with locally heavier amounts. Rains are also forecast through the Lake States in the next 36 hours. Showers are already falling across Central Minnesota this morning. The current forecast shows estimates that 35-40% of Midwest crops will see rain in the next 10 days, the remaining states will struggle with crops in the reproductive stage. The extended range 10-15 day forecast returns the heat to the Plains and the W Midwest with below normal rainfall trend. The east vs western (Midwest) yield debate will sharpen in August as dry/warm weather holds westward of the Mississippi River.

Cattle futures corrected from Monday's sharp gains and after having been higher for multiple sessions with a lower close. December cattle forward posted new contract highs before that setback occurred. Meanwhile, the cash cattle markets were quiet across the Plains with steady limited demand. $1-2 higher is the anticipation for cash this week as the beef market continues to recover. The beef market saw its fifth consecutive day of higher, which adds confidence to ideas that a seasonal low in the beef market has formed. The choice-value gained $1.80 to $269.73, and the select value was $3.02 higher at $253.94. The choice cutout is holding more than $66 higher than a year ago and at a record price for late July.