Drought Index Steady and Tariff Conditions for NAFTA
**The latest U.S. Drought Monitor remains relatively unchanged in areas like Kansas and Texas that are currently experiencing D3 or extreme drought, or parts of northwestern Oklahoma in the D4 or exceptional drought stage.
Agweb.com reports roughly half of the country is experiencing some level of drought or dryness.
As the winter wheat crop starts to break dormancy, fields are dry, forcing some farmers to make difficult decisions on what to do with the crop. Cattle are moving off pastures early, and some hay is being used to supplement diets.
**The USDA came out with its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report Thursday, but it's likely to be overshadowed by the March Prospective plantings Report due out March 29.
According to agweb.com, the USDA increased its forecast of domestic soybean stocks based on expectations of lower exports due to higher exports from Brazil.
Corn demand ticked higher as the USDA lowered 2017-18 corn stocks.
**President Trump's plan to slap steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports isn't just a way to prop up domestic producers, it's also leverage he's planning to use to get Canada and Mexico to agree to U.S. demands in the ongoing negotiations to rewrite NAFTA.
Agri-Pulse reports Trump signed the order Thursday to levy a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent on aluminum imports, but promised they'd not apply to Canada or Mexico if a new NAFTA was agreed to.