The grain trade moved sharply lower Sunday night.

Grain prices opened sharply lower and continued sharp losses overnight as weather for the Lake states produced weekend rains that were heavier precipitation than forecasted, and models reduced heat from the Midwest that had been forecasted for this week to return. The markets have shifted their focus the improving weather for the Central US, which could arrest further declines in US crop condition ratings and yield potential.

This afternoon’s ratings are anticipated to show a decline of 2-3% in the G/E ratings for corn and soybeans and put them back to near the lowest ratings of the year, which would have yield models below 174 BPA on corn and near 50 BPA and soybeans. Farmers are now filling out questionnaires for the August 11 crop report, while actual field surveys by the NASS are not conducted until September.

Over the weekend, Russia again launched new missile attacks on southern Ukraine but did not hit any Ukrainian Grain infrastructure. Military sources are indicating that Ukrainian ports are blockaded and likely mined. Pres. Putin shows no willingness returns the Black Sea Grain Pact despite even calls from Pope Francis that the attack on the food supply is a grave insult to God. Ukrainian grain shipments are curtailed, with logistical costs very expensive for farmers as truck movement is primary and then rail.

Tar spot is starting to be noted in Illinois, which can kill a field within seven days. Farmers will be aggressively checking and utilizing fungicides if found to be prevalent. Vigilance against this disease is a must.

It’s the last day of the month, and tomorrow’s the first day of the month, and the markets have collapsed into them, implying some form of price bottom will be set today/tomorrow. In the last several weeks, price rises have peaked on Monday/Tuesday mornings, making this a key weekly swing cycle.

Weather models did a poor job projecting Ridge riding rains last week, and rains are breaking out this morning again in Nebraska, moving easterly with near-normal rainfall forecasts for the Central US are now being projected for the next 10 days while the Canadian Prairies stay in their drought pattern with early harvested yield data showing losses of 15 to 40%. It will be hot across the southern Midwest today and the Delta through Friday, with the heat returning to the SW US this weekend. Heat looks to return back into the Central US during the 11-15 day period with below normal rainfall. The coming rain and cooler temperatures is an improved weather interlude for the crops, with heat and dryness likely to return in late August.

Cattle futures ended lower last week, with feeder cattle likely to have a very firm start this morning on the weak feed grain pricing outlook. Negotiated cash trade last week was limited on late Packer interest and feedlot selling resistance to lower prices. There were some live sales in the north were reported steady to $2 lower at $188-190, while sales in the South were at $179, which was $1 lower. Box beef values were mixed last week, with choice values gaining $1 and select down $1. Estimated slaughter margins increased to $231/head on the beef