May 31, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Happy Friday! Today's PM is 484 words, a < 2 minute read, so you can kick off your weekend early.

Situational awareness: "Dow drops 300 points after Trump threatens new tariffs on Mexico." (CNBC)

  • One hour left until markets close for the weekend...
1 big thing: Farmers face Mother Nature's fury

A drenched field in Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Midwest farmers are staring down "what agricultural experts are calling a historically delayed planting season," writes the Washington Post's Katie Mettler.

  • Only 58% of corn fields are currently planted in the 18 states that produce the vast majority of the nation's crop, according to the USDA.
  • The average at the same time over the last 5 years is 90%.

The big picture: The region has been in the crosshairs of extreme weather events for weeks, facing record rainfall that has led to extensive, historic flooding.

  • 381 of the NOAA's flood gauges across the region were above flood stage this week.
  • The chief economist of the American Farm Bureau Federation, John Newton, told the Post, "The frequency of these disasters, I can’t say we’ve experienced anything like this since I’ve been working in agriculture."

The state of play: Corn and soybean farmers are already feeling the heat with sinking prices and demand due to President Trump's ongoing trade war with China.

What's next: With farm insurance deadlines fast approaching, some farmers now have to consider how much of their fields to plant — or if they should be planted at all.

  • One of the affected farmers, Kendell Culp, who has yet to plant a single soybean, told the Post, "It becomes an economic decision. ... I do think about next year. What’s the seed supply going to be next year? Everybody is just trying to get through the planting season."
2. What you missed
  1. The UN raised questions for the first time about Iran's increased use of centrifuges to enrich uranium, but said the country is still in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. Details.
  2. Elizabeth Warren proposed a plan to allow the Department of Justice to indict a sitting president. Read more.
  3. Julian Assange has suffered from "psychological torture" during his time in captivity, according to a UN human rights investigator. Go deeper.
  4. Attorney General Bill Barr said those resisting President Trump's administration are to blame for "shredding" U.S. norms. Video.
3. 1 Drake thing

Drake sitting courtside during Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Drake was up to his usual courtside antics during Game 1 of the NBA Finals between his hometown Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors last night.

  • The Raptors were already warned by the NBA after the rapper left his seat and massaged coach Nick Nurse's shoulders during an Eastern Conference Finals game, per ESPN.

To kick off the Finals, Drake made his trolling a bit more subtle. He wore the jersey of former Raptor Dell Curry — the father of Warriors star Steph Curry.

  • After the Raptors notched a 118-109 win, Drake had some heated words with Warriors forward Draymond Green, appearing to call him "trash."
  • In a postgame press conference, Green refused to call the confrontation a "scuffle," saying, "We talked. We barked a little bit. But I wouldn't necessarily consider that a scuffle. Not really what I, personally, would consider a scuffle."

Decide for yourself.

Mike Allen