Grains markets shot lower Tuesday as traders digested the USDA’s weekly crop progress report for the week ending July 31. In addition, cooler weather and badly needed rains across the Midwest have trickled into the forecasts. Tack on a stronger U.S. dollar (though its still sitting at a one-year low) and you’ve got a recipe for price declines.
With the critical August WASDE report set for next week, let’s take a look at how grain markets kicked off the month. Here’s our recap of trading at the Chicago Board of Trade on Tuesday.
Corn Market Recap
The September corn futures contract fell another 8.25 cents to close the day at $3.625. The December futures contract dipped 8.25 cents to finish at $3.765.
The decline came a day after the USDA reported in its weekly progress report that crops rated good-to-excellent (G-E) fell by 1% last week.
Looking at individual states, we saw Pioneer’s yield expectations for corn crops across the country. Expectations for Minnesota lead the expected yields at 195.7 bushels per acre. That figure represented a 0.5 increase from last week’s expectations. In Iowa, however, the estimates say that Iowa’s yield estimate is sitting at 184.2 bushels per acre. That is a 2.5 decline from last week’s estimate. While Minnesota has the highest yield expectations, conditions continue to erode in North Dakota and South Dakota. 
Current estimates for corn yields in the two states sit at 107.8 bu/ac and 108.5 bu/ac, respectively. Both figures are lower than last week’s estimates.
On the international front, markets were still evaluating Colombia’s big grain purchase from the United States. The fourth-largest importer of new-crop American corn purchased 3.94 million bushels of corn.
Just how much is 3.94 million bushels in tonnes?
If you use our newly launched Grain Converter, you’d know this is 100,080.6 metric tonnes. (Learn more about the newest tool to help our farmers save time and money, right here.)
Soybeans Prices Slump on Crop Quality
The August soybean futures contract slumped more than 35 cents to close the session just below $9.65. The November soybean futures contract dropped 35.5 cents to close at $9.71.
These are the lowest levels we’ve seen for soybean prices in three weeks.
The downturn came after the USDA announced that crop conditions improved last week. The percent of soybeans rated G-E increased by 2 points to hit 59%.
U.S. Commodities grain analyst Jason Roose told Agriculture.com that investors were selling after improved crop ratings showed that the U.S. crop size is increasing. Roose expects that increased rains will aid in the development of crops and set a bearish trend. 
But it’s not just weather and conditions reports impacting prices. Canola in Winnipeg hit a one-week low (down about 2% on the day for November contracts.) Meanwhile, European rapeseed futures have also been tumbling.
Wheat Prices Wilt Tuesday
The September wheat futures contract declined 13.25 cents to close $4.61.
It was a pretty dull day overall in this market, as lower corn and soybean prices prompted some traders to take profits off the table. Yesterday’s USDA report indicated a continued deterioration in crop quality. However, it appears that these expectations were largely baked into prices before Monday’s report.
Elsewhere, the September Hard Red Winter contract fell 9.5 cents to close a notch above $4.65. In Minneapolis, September spring wheat contracts slid 13.75 to close at $7.18.
If you haven’t caught our insight on grain prices in the month of July, be sure to check out our recap, right here.
Producer Sentiment Pushes Higher
Finally, the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer increased again in July. The monthly survey that tracks the sentiment of 400 agricultural producers hit 139 last month. That is the highest level since January of this year and the second-highest tally since October 2015 when the project was launched.
You might recall that we discussed the importance of the barometer a few weeks ago. Despite the uptick in sentiment, we realize that there are still many farmers around the nation that are still concerned about the financial state of their farms.
We at FarmLead have a mission here each day: To help farmers make more money for their grain and have more time and energy to get important things done in their business.