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3 Big Things Today, October 17

1. NAFTA Trade Ministers to Square off Over Hard-Line U.S. Demands

Today, trade ministers from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will wrap up the fourth round of NAFTA talks

Aggressive U.S. demands have participants and analysts wondering if an agreement can be met by all sides. 

“There is too much work to do and not enough time,” said one source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

U.S. demands include renegotiations every five years, the U.S. would have the majority of automative manufacturing, and it would be easier to implement import barriers on Canada and Mexico. 

The trade ministers will issue statements today at 3 p.m.

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2. Corn Harvest Continues to Trail Average Pace

According to the USDA’s Crop Pogress Report released Monday, only 28% of this year’s corn crop has been harvested. This is up just 6% from last week and is significantly behind the five-year average of 47%.

Soybean harvest is moving along more quickly than corn harvest with 49% complete, up from 36% last week. This is still behind the five-year average of 60%.

Winter wheat planting is moving along with 60% complete, up from 48% last week but still trailing the 71% five-year average. 

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3. Critical Fire Conditions in High Plains

A high pressure system moving across the central and eastern U.S. will keep away rains for the rest of this week, according to the National Weather Service. 

The Northern Plains will be 10 to 15 degrees above normal today, with temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. The combination of these warmer-than-normal conditions and dry weather will create critical fire weather conditions across the High Plains.

A cold front will drop temperatures down tomorrow, but they will bounce back to the high 70s on Thursday.

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