Two days after he signed a disaster proclamation for Nebraska, President Trump issued a similar declaration for Iowa, making federal assistance available in both states. Another avenue for aid could open this week — the Senate may vote on a $13.5 billion disaster relief bill that might be revised to include money for flood-hit portions of the northern Plains and the western Corn Belt. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said the emergency declaration “will be instrumental to Iowa’s recovery … The road to recovery will be long, but it’s clear that Iowans will have the resources we need to rebuild.” The White House announced the disaster declaration on Saturday.
If they ever seceded from the Union, some states in the Soybean Belt could be called Chlorosis Country. That’s because iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) in soybeans reigns in states like North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. Estimates peg annual income losses from IDC in excess of $100 million. High soil pH and calcium carbonate salts contribute to the malady, says Alan Scott, a Pioneer product life cycle manager. Under these conditions, soybeans cannot access iron from the soil. Soybeans with IDC exhibit chlorotic leaves and stunted plants. Severe IDC may turn leaf tissue brown and cause necrosis and stunting. North Dakota State University (NDSU) studies show young plants with a small degree of chlorosis that fully recover before the 5 to 6 trifoliate stage will still lose up to 5 bushels per acre. If chlorosis persists, greater yield loss can be expected, even if recovery later occurs. In severe cases, University of Minnesota (U of M) and NDSU researchers found yields can plunge to zero. IDC always occurs on calcareous soils, says Dave Franzen, an NDSU Extension soil specialist. These alkaline soils are characterized by high pH values (greater than 7.5 on the 0-14 pH scale). Chlorosis can be spotty in a field. “Even small changes in topography can affect iron chlorosis,” says Bruce Quackenbush, who farms near Chokio, Minnesota.
Grains started the day mixed but managed to finish the day in positive territory. Energy markets were weaker on Friday and started weaker on the day but managed to recover its losses on the day. This Friday should be big for the grains with the USDA’s scheduled release of the its planting and stocks reports. Soybean continues to hold out hope that the US and China can reach a trade agreement, although it is the seasonal charts that we look to as an indicator of near-term strength. We are looking at the prospect of strength into the early part of April but after that, it will be the fundamental narrative that will primarily drive prices. If there is good news between the US and China, we can anticipate continued strength. If there is no progress in the trade talks and China fails to re-enter as a buyer, then we can anticipate weakness into the summer months.