By Kirk Maltais
--Corn for December delivery fell 1.5% to $3.68 3/4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Tuesday, as rain hit some growing regions in the Midwest.
--Soybeans for November delivery rose 0.2% to $8.68 1/4 a bushel.
--Wheat for December delivery fell 1.2% to $4.66 1/2 a bushel.
Blame it on the rain: The corn and soybean crops in the eastern Midwest states received much-needed rain at a critical point in their growth, prompting traders to worry about healthy yields that could push down prices.
From the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour:
Corn: The crop tour showed corn growth is behind the same time last year. The corn yield in Ohio and South Dakota are likely to be 15% below last year, Pro Farmer said. Current Ohio corn yields are projected to fall over 15 bushels an acre below the USDA's estimate of 169.5 bushels an acre nationwide, Pro Farmer said. Using 116 samples accrued during the first day of the tour, Pro Farmer projected a total yield of 154.35 bushels an acre. While areas of southern Ohio showed strong results of over 200 bushels an acre, northern areas were hurt by the poor weather this spring.
Raisng doubts: Field reports from the four-day Pro Farmer tour are adding to skepticism some farmers and investors have harbored toward the USDA's nationwide estimates this year. "I think the USDA is underestimating the extent of how bad this weather has been," said Paul Taylor, a former veterinarian in Monroe County, Mich., participating in the tour this week. He left all 24 acres on his farm unplanted this spring, instead putting down cover crops like kale and radishes.
Prairie State behind: Illinois corn yields appeared to be roughly 30 bushels an acre lighter than last year, according to preliminary data from Tuesday's leg of the crop tour, which traveled from Indiana into Illinois. Yields are roughly averaging 160 bushels an acre, down from Pro Farmers average of 190 bushels in comparable Illinois districts last year. Pro Farmer will release its official data later Tuesday.
South Dakota beans outpace Ohio: Soybean growth in South Dakota appears to be outpacing that in Ohio, according to Pro Farmer. Soybean pod counts in South Dakota average 832.85 pods in a 3-foot-by-3-foot square, versus 764.01 in Ohio. About 69 samples were taken in South Dakota, versus 119 in Ohio.
--Pro Farmer's Midwest Crop Tour runs through Thursday.
--The EIA is scheduled to release its weekly update on ethanol production and inventories at 10:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday.
--The USDA is scheduled to release its latest weekly export sales numbers at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.
Write to Kirk Maltais at email@example.com