Optimism is high as spring planting will soon get underway in earnest in Iowa. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Patty Judge says it’s still just a little early for farmers to begin planting soybeans and corn — but when they do — the conditions look good. She says three-quarters of the state has adequate soil moisture and things look pretty good. She says there’s about 20-percent of the state that’s been short of subsoil moisture, so a little more rain won’t hurt. While they aren’t out planting yet, Judge says there is a lot of fieldwork being done. “People are out applying anhydrous, doing their disking and leveling of their stock residue, the tilling, all of those preparatory issues are being taken care of right now,” she says. Judge says higher fuel prices are a negative as farmers look to begin planting. “It’s a serious issue and people are very concerned, and it will cut into the bottom line,” Judge says. On the other hand, I’m not sure what we can do to change that dynamic right now. you know, when it’s time to plant corn, we’ll have to plant corn, and we’ll have to have diesel fuel and gasoline to get that job done.” One issue that Judge says is down the line is the discover of soybean rust in the U-S. She says it has been found in the southern part of the United States, and Judge says it is “an issue of concern.” While soybean rust hasn’t been found in Iowa, Judge says they’re preparing to handle it if it does emerge. She says they’re working closely with Iowa State University and the soybean association and she says they think they’re on top of the latest technologies in handling the fungus and will try to keep people posted.
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