“Last week soybean futures contracts reached record highs — the September contract peaked at $17.30/bushel on July 20,” Riley said. “But the prospect of rain has brought down those prices about $1/bushel over the past few days.”

Nationally, 35 percent of the crop is rated “poor” and “very poor,” Riley said, while 31 percent is rated “excellent” and “good.” In Mississippi, 7 percent is rated “poor” and “very poor,” while 71 percent is rated “excellent” and “good.”

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“National yields are in jeopardy, as are the number of acres that producers might simply walk away from, thus dropping the total number of acres harvested. All of this combined is why soybean prices have soared since mid-June,” Riley said.

Current prices at Mississippi elevators are just over $16/bushel for the crop that is currently in the ground.

Soybeans ranked third on Mississippi’s roster of commodities in 2011, with an $860 million production value.