Corn prices close higher on Friday as drought concerns remain firmly entrenched. Some light rain is forecast for the northern and eastern Corn Belt next week. However, the western Corn Belt is under stress from extreme heat and dryness that’s expected to persist through much of next week. September futures posted another new all-time high for a nearby contract at $8.28 ¾. Futures were 55 to 80 cents higher for the week.

Soybean futures were sharply higher as trading came to a close on Friday afternoon. New all-time contract highs were reached by nearby futures for soybeans and meal. Weather forecast maps are offering little reason for optimism that there soon will be a break from the drought. Instead, each passing day finds the soybean crop suffering from heat and lack of rain. Production prospects are seeing daily downgrades. Demand has shown little tendency yet to retrench, although that may soon occur. In late trading, soybeans were up 25 to 35 cents, soyoil was mixed, and meal was up $11 to $17.