U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns took some time to reflect on being back in his home state following an address at the World Food Prize Thursday in Des Moines. Johanns is a native of Osage.
Johanns says, “For one thing, it’s just great to be in Iowa when the combines are running…I can’t tell you what great memories that brings back to me.” Johanns says it’s also good to see Iowans harvesting what looks to be a “pretty good crop.” He says not all farmers across the country are seeing good crops due to drought conditions.
Johanns says the good crop is coming at a time when farmers can make the most of it. He says we’re seeing stronger prices than we’ve seen in a “long-long time” with corn prices around three-dollars a bushel, soybean prices at five dollars a bushel and wheat prices at a 10-year high — what the Ag Secretary calls a remarkable time.
Johanns credits his boss with helping improve the prices for farm commodities.
Johanns says he read in an article that said he’s a cheerleader for President Bush, and says “Let me tell you, there’s reason to cheer. There is reason to cheer. His (President Bush) leadership in the area has made a huge difference. You have three-dollar corn because you have a demand for corn. Where do you get the demand for corn? It’s leadership in renewable fuels.”
Johanns says the same goes for soybeans. He says,”You have soybeans that are at a stronger price than we’ve seen in a long time because there’s a demand for soybeans. What’s happening, bio-diesel. Eight percent of our soybeans are now processed into bio-diesel and about 20-percent of our corn crop. And you know what? I believe with this president, the future looks bright. It is very, very encouraging for me, for somebody whose roots are deep down deep in the cornfields of Iowa, this is really good to see.” Johanns says farmers want to farm to make a good price, they don’t want subsidies.