The Pro Farmer tour enters the states that have been stressed today and Thursday.

Grain prices are mixed this morning, with corn and wheat finding support on reports that Russian drone strikes occurred again on the Danube River grain terminals and caused fire and damage to storage facilities. Meanwhile, soybeans stumbled the night after the Pro Farmer tour released the results from what is still the better areas of the Midwest. The next two days are when the Pro Farmer tour will get into the regions that have struggled the summer.

Pro Farmer Tour results for NE included an average corn yield of 167.22 bpa vs 158.53 bpa last year, and bean pods per square yard of 1,160.02 vs 1,063.72 last year. Results for IN included an average corn yield of 180.89 bpa vs 177.85 bpa last year, and bean pods per square yard of 1,309.96 vs 1,165.97 last year. For Nebraska corn yield and soybean pod counts were disappointing, compaired to the favorable weather and hope for near record yield potential that was anticipated there.

As the tour moves into the heart of the Midwest, what is important to understand is they are not doing the weight on the pods yet. Soybean yield is not determined by the number of nodes alone on the plant, it’s the number of pods per node and seed size. Each holds nearly equal importance in the final yield determination. Based on reports that are going on in IL, MN, and IA, soybean pod counts will decline relative to last year in the three-year average. The recent extreme heat and lack of rain will significantly impact soybean seed size in the coming September NASS crop report. Last year’s soybean yield was just 49.5 BPA due to the acute regional droughts that occurred across the Delta/Midwest. And now 2023 is setting up to struggle with the same results with the seed size in the heart of the Midwest that could yield production below 50 BPA, which makes soybeans explosive into fall. Again, this is similar to what I’ve said before in 2003.

It appears the growing season is going to end like it started, with an extended period of dry weather. An amplified high-pressure Ridge will produce brutal heat across the Plains/W Midwest/Delta through Friday with high temperatures currently recorded in the mid-90s to lower 100s. These areas will endure temperatures from 97-108 amid low soil moisture to produce acute stress. The hottest temperatures occur from today through Friday with moderation over the weekend. The Central US Ridge loses amplitude this weekend with some showers across the far Northern Lake states, however the heat returns next week with highs ranging from the 80s to lower 100s. Weather models show no meaningful Midwest weather through September 6.

Live and feeder cattle prices dropped lower yesterday and are anticipated steady softer for the opening today. Again, all regions were quiet on Tuesday on limited demand with the beef market likely near a seasonal top over the next two weeks. Show lists are smaller for this week and beef prices are rising. On Tuesday the choice cutout value rose to $317 and select values are just shy of $290. Both values are at seven-week highs. Technical selling from funds hit the board yesterday, and the chart gap from Monday are being targeted. The upward momentum on cattle futures is obviously stalled, and seasonally cattle futures struggled now into September and turned positive from October forward.