GRAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

Features Dow Jones Newswires

TOP STORIES:

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Grain, Soybean Futures Mixed Ahead of Harvest Report

Grain and soybean futures were mixed as traders prepared for updated government harvest forecasts.

A stronger dollar, rebounding from a 2 1/2-year low last week, also put pressure on the market, making U.S. crops less attractive to exporters. The WSJ dollar index rose 0.6% to 84.98.

US Corn Condition Steady as Harvest Begins -- Market Talk

16:25 ET - The quality of the US corn crop, beset by early weather troubles, held steady last week as farmers in the western Corn Belt began harvesting. The USDA says 61% of the crop was in good-or-excellent condition as of Sunday, unchanged from a week earlier. Farmers have collected 5% of the crop, with the most rapid progress in Texas and Nebraska. The share of good-or-excellent soybeans, meanwhile, dipped to 60% from 61% a week earlier. That the quality of both crops is largely steady adds to the mounting evidence that the US is on track for another large harvest this season. (benjamin.parkin@wsj.com; @b_parkyn)

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STORIES OF INTEREST:

Armyworms Pose Permanent Challenge To African Corn -- Market Talk

0941 GMT - Africa's top ten corn-growing nations stand to lose $2.2 billion to $5.5 billion a year in lost harvests as plant eating pests ravage corn fields across the continent, says the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International. Countries affected by the pests now stand at 28, up from 17 in March, slashing corn yields by up to 60%, the UK-based Research group notes. Indigenous to the Americas, fall armyworms had previously not been detected outside the region until last year, when they reached West Africa before spreading to the entire continent. The potential impact of the pests could reach 18 million tons of corn a year, piling more pressure on the majority of the continent's struggling economies. Africa's annual food import bill stands at $35 billion. (Nicholas.Bariyo@wsj.com; @Nicholasbariyo)

Indian Farmers Continue With Muted Sowing -- Market Talk

0631 GMT - With just days before the summer sowing season ends, farmers in India are pinning their hopes on the last spurt of good monsoon rains. The rainfall deficit widened to 5% as of Friday from 3% a week before. With persistent deficits, sowing activity was down 0.8% from a year earlier, versus a 0.6% drop the prior week, says Morgan Stanley. But the investment bank noted that cotton sowing continued to rise strongly, reflecting the continued shift from rain-fed crops. India's weather department has predicted near-normal rainfall for Sept. 14-20, followed by receding rains. India--one of the world's top producers and consumers of rice, sugar and cotton--relies heavily on the 3-month rainy season as nearly half of its farmland is rain-fed. (vibhuti.agarwal@wsj.com)

THE MARKETS:

Cattle Futures Mixed as Traders Search for Seasonal Bottom

Cattle futures drifted lower at the start of the week as traders consolidated after recent gains.

The cattle market last week "found good demand on ideas that the cattle market has finally reached a delayed seasonal low," said Chicago-based research firm AgResource in a note to clients. "The beef market finally showed indications of stabilizing."

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 11, 2017 17:22 ET (21:22 GMT)