The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicted Monday that Iowa will harvest 2.9 billion bushels of corn with an average yield at 167-bushels-an acre. That would be up two bushels-an-acre from 2010 but down by 10 bushels an acre from their August report.

The chair of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Deb Keller, of Clarion, says that prediction keeps Iowa as the top corn producer in the nation. “I know there’s been a lot of flooding in Iowa, there’s been a lot of rain, there’s been a drought,” Keller says, “but I think biotech is the great equalizer and I think it’s going to give us a pretty good corn crop.”

Keller says southern Iowa has been one of the driest areas of the state, and they will likely see that translate into lower yield.

she says there’s some harvesting going on there now, which tells her that the yields will be below average. Keller has two-thousand acres of corn on her Wright County farm.

“Really we’re sitting in the garden spot right I think right now,” Keller says. She says the corn is filled out nicely and she believes they will have a record yield in their county. While weather woes have hit other counties, Keller has no complaints.

She says they got rains when they needed them, and although they got off to a slow start with planting, they’ve caught up and “right now we couldn’t be more pleased.” Keller doesn’t expect to see the corn heads on the combines in Wright County until the end of this month.

Keller says in her area they will harvest the beans first, and although there are some who start early, she doesn’t expect the bulk of the corn harvest to begin there until at least October. The U.S.D.A. says total U.S. corn production is predicted at 12.5 billion bushels — the third largest crop in history.

The U.S.D.A. weekly crop report showed the corn condition improved in the state with 5% very poor, 10% poor, 28% fair, 45% good, and 12% excellent.