Sunflower prices ended the week mixed at down 10 cents to up 5 cents and continues to trade below the 60-day moving average at the crush plants. The birdfood market also remains fairly quiet at this time. The weather forecast continues to feature generally favorable conditions throughout the Midwest with no significant hot and dry conditions during the next ten days. Weather conditions remain key as August is the most important month for oilseed crops. This is not the case in the Dakotas and Northwest Minnesota where rain is needed for most row crops. The US Drought Monitor showed a huge area in these states experiencing abnormally dry to in some cases moderate drought conditions. Corn and soybeans have lost the top end of their yield for this year and each day without a good rain is taking its toll on these crops. Sunflower is very drought tolerant, but some areas were hit with very hot temperatures during the pollination period and this could impact yields. If rain is received it can still add on some pounds but we will not have a true picture of this year’s sunflower production until harvest begins. In addition to weather, the market will continue to trade demand news and will be closely watching yield reports from The Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour which begins on Monday.