The Pro Farmer tour of the Midwest produced some further upbeat crop estimates overnight.
It pegged the corn yield in Indiana at 167.36 bushels per acre, above last year's drought-affected results of 113.25 bushels per acre, and the three-year average of 141.14 bushels per acre.
The state's soybean pod count, a strong indicator of yield potential, was put at 1,185.14 per plot (3 feet x 3 feet), again well ahead of last year, when the figure was 1,033.24 per plot and above the average of 1,136.58 too.
For Nebraska - guess what - data were also above the norm, coming in at 154.9 bushels per acre for the corn yield, up from a drought-reduced 131.8 bushels per acre last year, and the average of 147.9 bushels per acre.
The soybean pod count was estimated at 1,138.9 per plot, above a figure of 894.4 per plot last year - but below the three-year average, calculated at 1,162.4 pods per plot.
That was the first below-average figure in the four states now pronounced on, the others being Ohio and South Dakota, and an indication of the potential for this year's crops.
This is especially so since the tour has a record of underestimating yields, although one should remember too that three-year averages will be easy to beat, given that one of them was drought-hit 2012.
Using a five-year average may have been better.
And the data certainly were hardly likely to help corn and soybean futures make strong headway.
'Drought has persisted'
But nor did they extend the last session's decline.
After all, investors had more than a sneak preview of what the tour findings might be from following scouts' accounts on Twitter during the last session.
And today is a more critical day, covering Iowa and Illinois, the top two corn and soybean producing states, where dryness (particularly in Iowa) has been a notable threat.
"Drought has persisted in the upper Midwest and Illinois the past 30 days," Gail Martell at Martell Crop Projections noted, saying that "this was especially damaging for late-pollinating corn and soybeans filling pods".
'We remain bullish'
Nor does the forecast look brilliant, with some, but not much, rain forecast for North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois heading into the weekend, and then a dry spell until late next week, when the northern Midwest should again fare best.
This at a time of more normal August temperatures, meaning higher evaporation risk than of late.
For soybeans, Joyce Liu at Phillip Futures said that "the drier weather and warmer temperatures expected for the next few weeks would threaten to stress crops and reduce yields.
"We remain bullish on soybean prices," given that the market continues "to be plagued with US weather concerns".
'Very strong cash bids'
In fact, November soybeans fell, but not by much, standing down 0.25 cents at $12.90 ¼ a bushel as of 09:30 UK time (03:30 Chicago time).
And December corn showed only small losses too, down 0.2% at $4.74 ½ a bushel, remaining some $0.30 above last week's near-three-year low.
"The market will not decline sharply until more is known about moisture amounts" hitting the Midwest over the next few days, Benson Quinn Commodities said.
The day will also bring weekly US ethanol production data, which some feel may come in high despite some talk of seasonal plant shutdowns for maintenance.
"We have been hearing some very strong cash bids for ethanol and expect the grind to be strong," one US broker said.
Today will bring data for wheat too, in Canada, with Statistics Canada crop production estimates. (The canola figure will be closely watched too, by oilseed markets.)
"The consensus is an all-wheat estimate in the neighbourhood of 30.5m tonnes, versus the US Department of Agriculture estimate of 29.5m tonnes," Brian Henry at Benson Quinn Commodities said.
"If you take out 5m tonnes of durum production and say 3.5m tonnes of winter wheat production, you're left with 22m+ tonnes of spring wheat production.
"Warmer temperatures are benefitting the development of this crop."
In Chicago, wheat futures proved reluctant to stray too far, adding 0.1% to $6.34 ¾ a bushel.
'I was not expecting this'
Among soft commodities, cotton proved more decisive in its direction, downward, as might be expected after its limit-down close to the last session, prompted by a surprise improvement in the USDA condition rating of the domestic crop.
"I was not expecting this, and I do not believe that much of the trade was either," said Tennessee-based consultant Louis Rose said.
Long-running drought in Texas, which has now received rain relief, had prompted considerable concerns over the crop, with excess rainfall viewed as an issue in Alabama.
Good prospects for India, the second-ranked cotton exporter after the US, have also boosted supply prospects, with the Cotton Association of India forecasting a 4.6% rise in domestic output in 2013-14.
Cotton for December dropped 1.3% to 87.74 cents a pound in New York, down nearly 7% from Friday's peak, which was the contract's highest level since February last year.
Furthermore, Chinese trade data showed a 16.6% drop, to 337,799 tonnes, in imports by the top buying country last month.
So far this year, imports are down 21% at 2.75m tonnes.
Chinese imports of sugar were stronger, by a whacking 26% to 499,719 tonnes, lowering to 4.1% the rate of decline so far in 2013 (to 1.77m tonnes).
That helped raw sugar for October at least hold on at 16.47 cents a pound in New York, after a tumble of some 5% itself over the previous four sessions.
In Kuala Lumpur, palm oil did better, keeping its own rebound alive from multi-year lows by edging 0.1% higher to 2,332 ringgit a tonne.
The vegetable oil has been boosted by decent data on Malaysian exports from cargo surveyors for the first 20 days of August, with Intertek putting month-on-month growth at 10.3%, and rival SSGS pegging the rise at 12.3%.
"Although representing a slowdown from first-10-day and first-15-day August periods, exports have remained strong this month," broker VSA Capital said.
"Should, as we expect, Malaysian production growth be less strong than in previous years, and domestic demand also stay strong, this could help mute any significant stockpile increase during the next few months, as we saw in the second half of 2012."
But how much is down to weaker competition from top-ranked exporter Indonesia?
The Indonesian Palm Oil Association reported Indonesian palm oil exports eased 1.64% in July to 1.59m tonnes.
However, Phillip Futures said: "We believe that the weak rupiah may lure some overseas demand for Indonesia.
"A downward revision on the current 10.5% palm oil export tariff would also help Indonesia achieve better export figures."