Corn prices surged 4.4% as sizzling heat stressed crops in four of the nation's top-five producing states.

Corn for December delivery rose 30¢ to settle at $7.16/bu. USDA reported that 62% of the corn crop was in good-to-excellent condition across the growing region. That compared with 71% in good-to-excellent condition a year ago.

Conditions worsened in four of the top-five producing states — Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Nebraska — as hot weather prevailed and rain was elusive, Northstar Commodity analyst Jason Ward says. The only state among the top five where conditions improved was Minnesota.

Other agricultural contracts also rose. September wheat rose 41.5¢ to settle at $7.18/bu., and November soybeans gained 17.75¢ to $13.7975/bu.

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