Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says farmers are on their way to finishing off corn planting in the state, as a lot of work got done last week. Northey says dry weather allowed farmers to get into the field and get the last bits of corn into the ground, and many farmers also got soybeans planted as well. He says warm weather has helped the corn that’s already planted emerge.
The latest crop report shows 97% of the corn planting is complete, eight days ahead of last year, but right at the five-year average. The report found 80% of the soybean crop has been planted. Last spring started with heavy snowcover and rains that saturated the ground and later led to record flooding. Northey says that’s not a major problem this year.
Northey says what happens from here on out is what matters, but says the state is in a lot better shape right now than last year. Farmers saw record grain prices that were followed by ups and downs — but Northey says things seem to have stabilized a little now. He says the mood among grain farmers is much better than it has been as grain prices have come up, and he says getting the crop in the ground helps.
Northey says livestock farmers have some nervousness over lower prices as well as higher prices for grain. He says there are some struggles among pork producers, dairy producers, and some of the poultry producers as well. The outbreak of the H-1-N-1 virus, or Swine Flu, is one thing that has hurt pork prices.
Northey says as the concerns over the disease have calmed down, the things have also improved for pork producers. Northey says there’s been some bounce back on pork prices — but there are still concerns about some of the trade restrictions implemented by some countries. He says though people have come to understand that the disease is not spread by eating pork. You can see the full weekly crop report on the Ag Department’s website .