Corn Falls to Four-Year Low as U.S. Begins Record Harvest

Corn futures fell to a four-year low as farmers begin harvesting a record crop in the U.S., the world’s largest grower. Soybeans and wheat also dropped.

About 7 percent of the corn crop was collected as of Sept. 21, up from 4 percent a week earlier, government data show. While progress trails the 15 percent average for this time of year, warm Midwest weather over the next seven days will favor maturing plants, DTN agriculture meteorologist Joel Burgio wrote today in a report.

“The yield is too good to sustain any kind of major rally until any other factors start to change,” James Bower, the president of Bower Trading Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. “The harvest is in full swing, or shortly will be. We’re a bit behind the normal pace, but I think that’s because the yield is so good it’s taking them longer to harvest.”

Corn futures for December delivery dropped 1.4 percent to close at $3.255 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $3.2475, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 29, 2010. Futures fell for a fifth straight session, the longest slump since mid-July. Prices are down 23 percent this year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture rated 74 percent of the crop in good or excellent condition as of Sept. 21, unchanged from the previous week. Domestic farmers are forecast to harvest a record 14.395 billion bushels in the season that began Sept. 1, according to the USDA.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 0.2 percent to $9.3625 a bushel on the CBOT. U.S. output may climb to a record 3.913 billion bushels, the government forecasts. The harvest was 3 percent complete as of Sept. 21, on pace with last year, the USDA said. Soybean-meal futures for December delivery fell to $307.50 per 2,000 pounds, the lowest since January 2012.

Wheat futures for December delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $4.76 a bushel in Chicago.

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