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Heat Wave Affects Illinois Crop Conditions

(With additional reporting from The Associated Press)

Monday's U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report showing a decline in the condition of Illinois' corn crop has been followed by a rise in corn futures prices Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade.

In early trading, December corn rose 20 cents to $7.16 and 1/4 cents a bushel. University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good said that is the market reaction he expected.

"We know there's a large number of factors that influence the value of corn," Good said. "But at this time of year, crop conditions and perspective production is the dominant factor. And I think that's influencing the market behavior this week, as there are some increasing concerns about the size of the crop."

The USDA reported 61 percent of the state's corn crop to be in good or excellent condition, which is down from recent weeks. Some fields have started to turn brown. Good said that shows the impact of hot, dry weather on the nation's number two corn-producing state. And with the heat wave continuing this week, he said Illinois crop conditions could take another hit when the Agriculture Department releases another report next Monday.

Good said while weather forecasters are not making many long-term predictions, some models call for at least limited relief from the hot, dry weather in the coming weeks. That could improve crop conditions.

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

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