Iowa Public Television


Markets Eye Weather as Illinois Crops Wither

posted on July 22, 2005

Rainfall in recent days over some of the driest parts of the grain belt has touched off a debate over the resiliency of soybeans. While it's true the precipitation brought some slight improvement to overall crop conditions, many analysts wonder if it's too little, too late.

That same question is being asked in the commodity pits of Chicago, where yield-minded traders continue to ply a weather market.

Markets Eye Weather as Illinois Crops Wither The sporadic weather across the nation's Corn Belt continues to impact the market. Recent rains led some analysts to declare an end to the weather market. But, others believe the weather's grip on the market will continue as forecasts call for above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall through the end of the month. With the critical pollination time coming to an end by late next week, traders will begin to make determinations on prices based on how further stressful weather will adjust yields.

Illinois remains the most affected. According to Doane's, the entire state is enveloped in a moderate to severe drought. 52 percent of its corn is reported in poor to very poor condition --the worst rating since the 1988 drought.

The Illinois soybean crop is stressed too. 41 percent of the state's crop is rated poor to very poor. But, analysts say it has tolerated the heat and dryness better than crop conditions would suggest. They say soybeans do have the ability to bounce back if weather turns more favorable in August. But, in the driest areas, moisture is needed right now. Portions of central Illinois received an inch of rain last week, but precipitation in the northern quarter to one-third of the state was light to nonexistent.

Tags: agriculture corn crops drought Illinois markets news weather