Dry weather is a problem again this year but not in wheat country. Now it's a concern for farmers in the eastern Grain Belt ... and a situation drawing scrutiny in the markets.
Hot, dry conditions continue to plague the eastern Grain Belt. The government's most recent drought monitor illustrates the severity of the problem in places like Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
On the ground, USDA's latest crop progress report shows 37 percent of the Illinois corn crop rated poor or very poor, compared to only 4 percent in neighboring Iowa. Seventy-five percent of the Illinois soybean crop is rated no better than fair.
Officials now are warning growers in the hot, dry areas to watch for an increase in insect problems. Soybean aphids and spider mites are of special concern.
In the trading pits, the weather concerns helped move commodity prices higher ... after retreating sharply a week ago.