Iowa Corn Yield Slightly Down, But Still Very Strong

WAUKEE, Iowa  --  The end of the work week is finally here for a lot of Iowans, but for central Iowa farmers, it's just the beginning. They've been stuck inside waiting, as it's been a sloppy start to harvest season. 

“It has been tough. In fact, I just started. This is the first cornfield I’ve been into all season and I just started yesterday,” said Dan Golightly, a farmer from Waukee. 

The wet weather is to blame, but unpredictable weather has been the theme for this year’s corn crop.

“Like most farmers, I’ll say I was complaining or at least thinking about how dry it was and wishing it was. Wishing the weather had been a little different. Here this fall, now it’s turned off to be wet and it has made it difficult,” said Golightly.

Golightly will work as much as he can this weekend, as long as the rain holds off. But the good news for him is the long hours will be worth it. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service just released the corn yield production numbers for October, and they are good.

Last year was an all-time high, with over 200 bushels per acre. This year's numbers won’t get close to that, but it’s still the third highest ever for October with 191 bushels per acre.  

“It’s always good for farmers to have a crop. They are coming off a record high last year, and even though this year isn’t a ‘Bin Buster,’ they're still going to get pretty good crops even after the rough July weather we had,” said Greg Thessen of NASS USDA.

After a season of not knowing what the crop was going to look like, the report of a high yield is a major relief to many.  

“It’s just a big gamble. I don’t go to casinos because this is my casino out here,” said Golightly.

The gamble for Golightly seems to have paid off. Most of the time a high yield results in a drop in prices, the the price rose slightly on Thursday after the report was released.