Crop prices continued its recent surge Monday. Traders believe recent dryness has set the stage for substantial crop damage over much of the Corn Belt this week and next. Temperatures seem set to reach their highest levels for 2013, thereby holding the potential to significantly damage the growing corn and soybean crops. September corn leapt 20.25 cents to $5.1575/bushel at its Monday settlement, while December soared 30.5 cents to $5.005.

The soy complex also spiked upward in early-week trading. The soybean and product markets led the way upward Sunday night and Monday. That’s entirely understandable, since this pod-filling time is probably much more critical to the size of the bean crop than for its counterparts. September soybeans exploded 62.5 cents higher to $14.2775/bushel by late Monday afternoon, while November beans zoomed up 61.5 to $13.895. September soyoil jumped 1.80 cents to 44.40 cents/pound, and September soymeal rocketed up $25.4 to $458.6/ton.

Wheat futures again followed corn and soybeans higher in Monday action. It was quite obvious that strength spilling over from the corn and soy pits was powering golden grain values upward to start this week. Bulls were probably impressed by the sizeable total posted on the weekly Export Inspections report as well. September CBOT wheat jumped 20.25 cents to $6.5475/bushel as Monday’s trading ended, while September KCBT wheat climbed 12.75 cents to $7.0825, and September MGE futures added 13.0 cents to $7.2925.

Cattle futures surged in concert with the crop markets Monday. Last Friday’s monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report stated July placements 10% below last year, with the COF total down 6%; both of those results seemed bullish for the fourth quarter market. Meanwhile, spiking grain and soy prices are reducing the chances of increased livestock and beef production down the road. October cattle futures settled 0.45 cents higher at 127.15 cents/pound as pit trading ended Monday, and December improved 0.95 cents to 130.17. September feeder cattle futures dove 2.53 cents to 154.12 cents/pound in response to rising feed costs, while November plunged 2.78 to 156.75.

Hog futures rallied along with the other ag markets Monday. The bullish atmosphere almost surely encouraged hog buying as well, especially in the deferred contracts due to the prospective rise in feed costs. Last week’s surprisingly low hog slaughter and Friday’s technical action probably sparked buying as well. October hog futures advanced 0.92 cents to 86.02 cents/pound as trading halted Monday, while December ran up 0.82 cents to 83.07.