Corn futures closed 12 to 15 cents higher on Wednesday. The market experienced a day of choppy trade before rebounding to close at record high levels. Both August and September futures traded close to $8 as the Midwest drought expands its territory. As indicated by steadily declining condition ratings, the 2012 corn crop is quickly deteriorating, increasing concern that average corn yields will be substantially lower the USDA’s 146 bushel per acre estimate.

Soybean futures closed 25 to 42 cents higher on Wednesday. The market closed strong, supported by extreme weather worries and record gains in the soymeal market. Adjusted weather reports indicated 7 to 10 more days of hot, dry conditions across the Midwest with slight chances for rains. The market received an additional boost as the August futures contract for soymeal hit a record high at $514 per ton.

Wheat futures closed 12 to 23 cents higher on Wednesday. Wheat futures closed higher for the sixth consecutive day with CBOT September contract hitting a record high of $9.08 per bushel. Overnight and early morning weakness in the corn market pulled wheat futures lower today but prices experienced renewed buying interest as corn prices rebounded and worries increased concerning damage to the Black Sea Region wheat production. Trade at CBOT closed 23 cents higher, KCBT closed 13 cents higher and MGE closed 12 cents higher.

Cattle futures closed impressively higher on Wednesday. Cattle futures took advantage of the setback in the corn market, trading sharply higher throughout the day. Midday boxed beef prices were lower but had minimal affect on cattle futures. Trade in the cash market is considered to be complete, with prices remaining up to $2 lower than the previous week. Cash prices continue to struggle due to ample beef supply as producers push cattle into feedlots earlier than expected due to heat stress and rising feed prices.

Lean hog futures closed sharply higher on Wednesday. Bullish momentum from corn market weakness, improvement in cash trade and spillover support from cattle pulled lean hog futures higher today. The market opened on the upside as corn prices struggled to find stability. The market was also strengthened by futures discount to cash prices and higher wholesale pork prices. The August contract closed $2.68 higher at $92.60 while October closed $2.38 higher at $80.70.