The US Department of Agriculture, and other parts of the US government, may have shut down thanks to a budget impasse among lawmakers.
But bears remained firmly active in row crop markets.
The ravaging of corn and soybean futures evident in the last session - after the USDA, in one of its final acts before Washington ground to halt, lifted its estimate for inventories of both crops as of the end of 2012-13 – extended into Tuesday.
Once support from an early bout of short-covering wore off, December corn fell anew to close below its actual trading range during open dealing at $4.39 a bushel, down 0.6%, and the lowest level for a spot contract in three years.
'Combines don't lie'
Selling was only encouraged by further reports of strong yields from the US harvest, which trumped a failure by further USDA data on Monday to show any improvement in corn condition, leaving it at 55% rated "good" or "excellent".
"In late August the market put in a stiff weather premiums and much of that has had to be drained out of the market as the combines have moved into the fields," Darrell Holaday at Country Futures said.
"Combines don't lie." (Provided they are adequately maintained.)
US Commodities said: "Corn yields could balloon to 157-160 bushels per acre," from the 155.3 bushels per acre the USDA currently shows.
(At least, the USDA would if its website was not down "due to the lapse in federal government funding".)
'Multi-year bear market'
US Commodities forecast that the harvest could prove so large that ending stocks could reach 2.3bn-3bn bushels, a level not seen since the late 1980s, when prices were below $2 a bushel.
"Corn is trying to move into a multi-year bear market," the Iowa-based broker added.
Mr Holaday reported that already, in cash markets, "given the December corn futures level at this time, an average basis for corn in much of US Midwest is now pushing the average cash bid at elevators to the $4-a-bushel level or below".
As an extra negative, harvest weather looks open, with CHS Hedging reporting that the "current radar shows no major disturbances over the Midwest, which should benefit the corn harvest".
That is a negative for soybeans too, given that the oilseed is also being harvested, and at a faster rate than corn, the USDA crop progress data showed, with 11% in the barn as of Sunday.
For corn, which had an earlier start, just 12% is complete – with suspicions that farmers are prioritising soybeans thanks to relatively high values and the crop's potential greater sensitivity to frost.
Meanwhile, those soybeans left in the field are improving, with the proportion of the crop rated "good" or "excellent" by the USDA rising by three points to 53% last week.
Talk is growing of a soybean yield of 42 bushels per acre, or even 43 bushels per acre, above the 41.2 bushels per acre that the USDA currently foresees.
Nor do soybeans have the comfort, for bulls, of having already attracted a hefty net short position, as with corn, giving hedge funds plenty of scope to bet on falling prices of the oilseed before that side of the book begins to look crowded.
The news was not all bearish, with the announcement of US export sales of 113,000 tonnes of new crop soybeans to China, an order all the more positive given that China is on holiday.
South Korea bought 80,000 tonnes of US soymeal too.
Still, soybeans for November closed down 1.1% at $12.68 a bushel, taking losses in two sessions to 3.7%.
Wheat again proved the market leader, helped by a bullish outcome from the US stocks report, which saw inventories of the grain smaller than investors had expected, besides fresh news of setbacks in the former Soviet Union.
SovEcon said that Russian sowings would miss the government target by approaching 3m hectares, as rains keep farmers from fieldwork.
This amid similar concerns in Ukraine, and more than offsetting some OK data on US winter wheat plantings, seen as 39% complete, only 1 point behind normal.
Kansas City wheat leads
The question is whether wheat prices can keep up their strength in the face of weakness in fellow grain corn.
"We are doubtful, although that doesn't mean that Kansas City wheat doesn't have more work to do in spreads and versus other wheat classes," Richard Feltes at RJ O'Brien said, echoing analysis by Agrimoney.com on prospects for hard red winter wheat prices.
Goldman was more upbeat on wheat price prospects.
In fact, Chicago wheat for December closed up 0.4% at $6.81 ¼ a bushel, pushing its premium over December corn above a hefty $2.40 a bushel.
But Kansas hard red winter wheat for December indeed did better, adding 0.7% to $7.45 a bushel, the strongest close for a spot contract in nearly four months.
However, European contracts succumbed to profit taking, with Paris wheat for November, which hit a two-month high in the last session, falling 1.6% to E190.25 a tonne.
London wheat for November dropped 1.2% to £154.90 a tonne.
Among soft commodities, New York raw sugar eventually settled on upward movement, after being undecided for a while on whether a, small, Unica downgrade to its estimate for the Brazilian Centre South cane crop - and a huge receival by Louis Dreyfus of sugar against the expiring October contract - were positive or negative for futures.
The March contract, added 1.0% to a four-month high of 18.32 cents a pound.
The clinching factor may have been a turn wetter in the Brazilian weather outlook, with MDA forecasting that an uptick in rains will continue for the next 10 days.
While improving sowing conditions for corn and soybeans, the rains bode ill for cane harvest progress.