The U.S. Agriculture Department today is predicting Iowa farmers will harvest a record corn crop this year. The U.S.D.A. forecast calls for Iowa growers to produce 2.47 billion bushels of corn, surpassing the record of 2.38 billion set in 2007. Roger Zylstra, a district director with the Iowa Corn Growers Association, says he’s not surprised with the report.
"Generally, our crop just looks excellent this year and I’m very encouraged," Zylstra said. Typically, a bigger crop means lower prices for farmers. But Zylstra, who farms near Lynnville in central Iowa, says it might also lower feed prices for those in the livestock industry.
"It would be good (if) we could try to find an equilibrium here so that we can continue to raise the livestock sector and have the demand there and continue to provide the corn for ethanol and for exports," Zylstra said. The USDA expects Iowa farmers to harvest a record 185 bushels of corn per acre.
Zylstra says he wouldn’t be shocked if the final number is even higher. "We’ve still got several weeks of growing season left and the remaining weather is certainly going to influence the final outcome," Zylstra said. The record yield of 181 bushels per acre was set in 2004. In 2008, when Iowa experience record flooding, growers harvested 171 bushels of corn per acre.
The U.S.D.A. is predicting Iowa will produce 506 million bushels of soybeans – that would be the third largest soybean crop in the state’s history.