DROUGHT UPDATE: Northey’s Weighs In On Recent Weather
Visitors of the Iowa State Fair are taking notice of the rainfall and cooler temperatures.
“I bought myself a sweatshirt because it’s perfect state fair weather,” said Bethany Charlsen, a longtime fairgoer.
“It’s been awesome this year,” Anthony Sinclair told Channel 13 News.
So is Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. However, he’s nowhere near ready to say that the drought has come to an end.
“If we got two or three inches, it would feel like we’re turning the corner on things,” said Northey.
Still, the weather has been appreciated, especially by the soybeans, a crop that saw higher good to excellent ratings this week and could improve even more with a little more moisture.
“The soybeans definitely could be helped by the rains and rains until the first week of September could help our soybeans.”
Turning to corn, it’s likely too little too late.
Northey acknowledges that recent rain has had little effect on the crop.
“The corn is probably limited now. It’s just finishing up.”
That’s a concern that has caused members of congress to call for waivers on the federal ethanol mandate.
That mandate requires the use of 13.2 billion gallons of biofuels like ethanol, which would be tough to reach if the corn yield is as low as expected.
Like a number of Iowa farmers, Northey is hoping that the e-p-a will wait to see what’s in the fields before making any decisions.
“We’ll get a chance to get a chance to get into those parts of the field that maybe are better than our worst areas and get a chance to see if we have any 150-180 bushel yields. If we can, that may be enough to make sure that we’ve got enough for everybody.”
If the yield is better than expected, there could be enough corn to cover demand for ethanol and livestock.
If not, Northey believes discussion to lift the mandate, insuring enough product for both industries is likely