The week ahead in agriculture

(Ag Web) -- Weather watching.

Periodic rains and a lack of heat in the Corn Belt forecast so far have proved to be crop friendly in the view of markets. If weather forecasts don't shift this coming week, that will continue market thinking that things are okay in farm country and the corn and soybean crops are not shrinking.

Crop ratings.

If Monday's crop condition ratings show another increase for corn and soybeans, it will back up market thinking that weather is definitely helping crop prospects. After the gyrations in the spring wheat condition ratings, it will be interesting to see what USDA says on that front Monday.

Weekly Export Sales.

With China's new-crop soybean purchases nearly on their own putting the weekly sales totals ahead of trade expectations for the week ended July 17, traders will watch for a repeat performance in next Thursday's data.

End of the month.

Not only could weather affect markets next week, but the end of the month looms as another potential time for some extra market moves as traders reposition themselves for the month ahead. Outside markets will also still play a role in grain futures activity.