On the eve of a key government crop report, corn futures remain at depressed levels as generally favorable crop conditions and analysts' forecasts point to potentially bin-busting harvests by American farmers.
Nonetheless, industry watchers have been trying to figure out if July's heat wave conditions may have hurt corn yields — and therefore production — since it happened when the crop was in pollination, a sensitive stage when the plant is susceptible to harsh summer weather.
The U.S. Agriculture Department will release the report Friday at noon and it could provide some answers that will move financial markets and help determine corn and soybean prices. The August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, a monthly report known as WASDE, is USDA's first survey-based estimate of the U.S. corn and soybean yields for this season.
"As long as USDA doesn't give us a shockingly bearish report — i.e., they give us average yield that is well above what the trade is expecting — I do think there's a good chance that we find a low in here very soon and start to bounce back for corn and soybeans," said Ted Seifried, an analyst at the Chicago brokerage Zaner Group.