Water pools in rain-soaked farm fields on May 29 near Gardner, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The wettest 12 months in recorded U.S. history have exacted a price — millions of acres of waterlogged fields remain unplanted during the worst farm crisis since the '80s.

Why it matters: Agriculture is used to boom-bust cycles. What's less common is the bust coinciding with historic trade wars.

  • "We spent 40 years developing this trade relationship with China and in one fell swoop, it was all taken away," fourth-generation soybean farmer Bret Davis told Axios' Courtenay Brown in May.
  • 2018's U.S. soybean sales to China were at a 16-year low.

By the numbers: Just 77% of potential soybean acres have been planted in the 18 highest producing states vs. an average 93% over the past 5 years.

  • For corn, it's 92%, compared to an average of 100%. This is the worst number in 40 years, the WashPost reports.
  • Even cotton is at 89% vs. the 5-year average of 94%.
  • Michigan, South Dakota, Missouri and Ohio are feeling the pain worse than others.

The big picture: Farmers are generally insured against crop loss — and many are insured against being unable to plant.

  • But "the suppliers who sell seed and herbicides to farmers don’t have insurance," South Dakota State's Jonathan Kleinja told the Post.
  • Another whammy: Beleaguered industries like dairy are facing already-bad profit margins and are reliant on corn to feed their cows.

The bottom line: More farm aid is almost certainly on the way. The Trump administration — which is responsible for farmer trade war pains — keeps upping its offers to help, including for farmers who weren't able to plant.

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Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.