The federal government has lowered its forecast for this year’s corn harvest, but the president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association doesn’t believe it will have much of an impact on prices in grocery stores. Gary Edwards farms near Anamosa.
"It’s still the number two crop we’ve ever raised, so even though it’s down slightly from what the August forecast was, it’s still a big, big crop out there," Edwards said. The U.S.D.A. estimates this year’s corn harvest will produce 12.1 billion bushels – or 152.3 bushels per acre, down from the 155 bushels per acre forecast in August.
The forecast for Iowa predicts the corn yield will hit 168 bushels per acre, a drop of three bushels from August. Edwards isn’t so sure today’s U.S.D.A. report will hold true. He thinks the prediction could be a bit high. "You can’t see out in the middle of the field and count how many holes from wet spots or dry spots are out there," Edwards said. "It’s a little harder to estimate in a year when it’s not quite as even."
Edwards credits a relatively cool summer in helping Iowa’s crop – much of which had to be replanted because of flooding in June. Cooler temperatures are more ideal for pollination. Edwards says the harvest will likely come later than usual this year.
"We’re going to be a week to two weeks later…probably after the first of October," Edwards said. He credits the cool weather for allowing the corn crop to mature at a slower pace. If the U.S.D.A. projection holds up, Iowa will record it’s third largest corn crop in history. The U.S.D.A. soybean harvest forecast dropped a half bushel from August to 40 bushels per acre.