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Hogs: Afternoon Comments (Tuesday, August 22, 2017 20:26:01)

Lean hog futures faced pressure throughout the day and market settled low-range and down 40 to 87 1/2 cents for the day, with nearbys leading losses. The product market was a source of concern for the lean hog market today as the pork cutout value plunged $2.94 this morning. Traders noted the $18.69 plunge in pork bellies as the main driver of the decline. But movement did pick up to 224.90 loads. Cash hog prices also extended their slide in the western Corn Belt and the Iowa/Minnesota market today.

The chart posture of the market clearly favors market bears, with futures dropping to multi-month lows today. For now, traders are not overly concerned about the technically oversold condition of the market or futures' wide discount to the cash hog index.

Soybeans: Afternoon Comments (Tuesday, August 22, 2017 20:39:21)

Soybean futures pared overnight gains during the day trading session, but the market remained in positive territory. Futures settled around a penny higher for the day. The first day of the Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour revealed pod counts down from the three-year average in both South Dakota and Ohio, which led to some light short-covering in the bean market. But that was the extent of buying interest as more tour data lies ahead. Plus, traders note USDA confirmed recent rains have improved crop conditions when it raised the amount of beans rated in "good" to "excellent" shape by a percentage point to 60% yesterday. Also, Crop Consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier also raised his soybean yield estimate in response to recent rains in the western Corn Belt.

Corn: Afternoon Comments (Tuesday, August 22, 2017 20:37:51)

Corn futures finished 2 1/2 to 3 cents lower, closing at their lows of the day. Futures slipped to their lowest level since last September following a brief corrective gain in the early trade. Widespread, soaking rains over some of the driest areas of the western Corn Belt weighed on the market today. Basis levels were steady to stronger, however, as farmers keep their bin doors locked.

Results from the first day of Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour provided only limited direction to the market. The tour found a better-than-year-ago crop in Ohio and lower-than-year-ago crop in South Dakota. The trade is waiting for tour data from the key central Corn Belt states.

Wheat: Afternoon Comments (Tuesday, August 22, 2017 20:40:00)

: Wheat futures enjoyed gains overnight, but the market reversed course during the day trading session. Winter wheat futures settled 6 3/4 to 8 3/4 cents lower, while spring wheat posted losses of 10 to 14 cents through the March contract. Wheat futures initially enjoyed some corrective short-covering after winter wheat contracts dipped to new contract lows on Monday. But this eventually gave way to fresh selling and yet another round of contract lows. Pressure stemmed in part from projections for record-large Russian wheat production to present more export competition for the U.S., as well as solid gains for the U.S. dollar index today.

Spring wheat also faced pressure today, as traders focused on a slight uptick in spring wheat condition ratings more so than the fact that harvest advanced to 58% complete -- past the halfway point that usually coincides with an easing of hedge pressure.

Cotton: Afternoon Comments (Tuesday, August 22, 2017 20:40:34)

Cotton futures closed 6 to 25 points higher through the 2018 contracts, with the December 2017 contract leading gains. Cotton futures were higher today in mostly technical-related trade. Traders bought back short positions as USDA confirmed crop conditions improved slightly from a week earlier and the U.S. dollar remained strong. While both negative factors, traders covered short positions temporarily on ideas the news was already priced into the market. Cotton also got a little spillover lift from a firmer crude oil market. December cotton futures posted a higher high and higher low for the second consecutive day. Prices finished just under resistance at 68.00 cents. Hefty resistance rests from that level to the August high at 71.20 cents. The 66.64 cents area is support. is your source for ag news and information on crop pest identification, commodity and market prices, agricultural news & issues, and access to crop production management tools such as crop yield & planting calculators and herbicide, fungicide, and weed control information.