The corn market lost ground Thursday afternoon. Although hot, dry weather forecasts have supported the crop markets lately, large areas of the western Corn Belt were blessed with rain Wednesday night. That news, along with surprisingly large yield estimates coming from the big crop tour taken this week seemed to depress corn futures as Thursday passed. September corn dove 10.5 cents to $4.875/bushel by Thursday afternoon, while December plunged 18.75 cents to $4.645.

The soy complex also proved vulnerable Thursday. Wire service reports cited technical resistance and profit-taking for the Wednesday night soybean slide. The disappointing crop tour results for Iowa and Illinois beans may have played a role in the subsequent bounce. However, the Export Sales report was not helpful to the bullish cause; nor was news that the western Corn Belt had been blessed with overnight rains. September soybeans sank 11.0 cents to $13.22/bushel at its Thursday close, while November beans dropped 17.25 to $12.8675. September soyoil lost 0.39 cents to 42.42 cents/pound, and September soymeal sagged $8.2 lower to $413.3/ton.

Wheat futures dropped in concert with corn and soybeans Thursday. Large crop forecasts out of Canada Wednesday and from Germany early Thursday morning seemed to weigh somewhat upon wheat futures. Rain in the western Corn Belt and diving corn and soybean prices probably played major roles in dragging wheat lower as well. September CBOT wheat closed 8.25 cents lower at $6.305/bushel Thursday afternoon, while September KCBT wheat stumbled 5.25 cents to $6.9425, and September MGE futures slid 9.5 cents to $7.1925.

Cattle futures remained weak Thursday. Although CME traders remain generally optimistic about the cattle and beef outlook, prices have an historical tendency toward late-August weakness. That probably reflects the completion of pre-Labor Day buying by grocers. Thus, futures lost ground despite firm beef quotes at noon. October cattle futures tumbled 0.77 cents to 127.20 cents/pound at their Thursday settlement, while December slumped 0.75 cents to 129.72. September feeder cattle futures were steady at 157.70 cents/pound, but November rose 0.15 to 160.45.

Cash and wholesale losses depressed CME hog futures. Discounted CME hog prices indicate the industry is expecting large seasonal losses at the cash and wholesale levels through late summer and fall. Nevertheless, persistent news confirming substantial cash and pork price declines weighed upon the Chicago market again Thursday. October hog futures settled 1.42 cents lower at 84.40 cents/pound at the daily close, while December declined 1.02 cents to 81.60.