It’s important to look at feed grains. Ag Economist Glenn Grimes suggests that pork producers consider buying some options on feed. The trend-line average corn yield is 145 bushels per acre; the futures market has already built in a 130-bushel yield. The growing season, especially in the Western Corn Belt, has been much too dry.

Now, pollination is the issue. The +95F temps and low humidity are even more important than the rain shortage, he notes. And, it looks to be hot and dry for the next week. Illinois, Iowa and southern Minnesota are some key areas. All are in worse shape than last year. Where usage levels are today, it doesn’t take much of a cut in yields to face a short supply. Eight billion bushels of corn would be a short crop today, says Grimes. “Not too many years ago, that would have been a record crop.”

What about the soybean crop? “Soybeans depend on August rains,” says Grimes. So we’ll see.