A mixed trade to start the first day of the month.

Grain futures are mixed with wheat and corn softer this morning while soybeans stabilize. Yesterday’s crop ratings had corn down 2% to 55% G/E, while soybeans were also down 2% to 52% G/E. Even though this week will likely bring improving ratings into next week and possibly the following week, the market seems aggressive on how much ratings can recover in the coming weeks. Current yield models for the ratings are the lowest since 2012 and would project corn currently at 172.5 BPA and soybeans at 49.6 BPA. Improvements are on the way, and the question is to what degree? Field surveys are currently out to farmers and will be reported by the USDA on August 11 in the WASDE crop report.

Spring wheat ratings were down a sizable 7% in the G/E category at just 42% G/E, with 97% of the spring wheat crop heading with harvest just starting at 2%. This has given support again to the spreads of spring wheat over the other wheat classes.

50% of the soybean crop is forming pods, while 29% of the US corn crop is in the dough stage. The reports of increasing amounts of corn ear tipping due to recent heat/dryness. Concerns for tar spot are also showing up in Illinois.

In weather, E MO and W IL look to get a fairly heavy cluster of storms offering possible 2” rains tomorrow into Thursday. The weekend should offer chances for rain across the Western Plains. The Great Lakes and N Ohio Valley have fewer opportunities in the near term. Seasonal 80s/lower 90s are offered across the Midwest and Delta next week, with warming in the 11-15 day period.

Cattle prices were lower on Monday but recovered substantially from midday lows to settle with moderate losses. Negotiated fed cattle markets, of course, were quiet following limited negotiated trade last week. Active trade is expected to hold until late week, with feed yards still looking to sell $1-3 higher. Box beef was mixed almost little changed on Monday with $302 for choice and $278 the select. Consider that both values are holding at record levels for late July/early August. In a few weeks, a seasonal rally would typically get underway that lasts into Labor Day. October cattle did prove support at the $178.00 value. A breach of that on a closing basis would confirm that a top has been formed.