We will find out later today if rain has helped improve the condition of the state’s corn crop. Iowa Corn Growers Association representatives say the advances in corn breeding and genetics give them a much better outlook than back in 1988 when drought conditions also caused major concern.

Bruce Rohwer farms near Paulina in northwest Iowa.”Through the use of the different technologies, we’re able to improve plant health through the plants being less susceptible to insect pests and this type of thing, as well as the plant breeding being that much better as far as the yieldability of these plants,” Rohwer says.

Kevin Ross is the president of ICGA and farms near Minden. “I’d mention root systems, I think that’s the biggest key, they’ve worked very, very hard on that,” Ross says. The better root systems and other advances mentioned allow farmers to get more corn from fields even when there is drought damage.

Deb Keller is on the Iowa Corn Promotions Board and grows corn near Clarion. Keller says the genetic advances in corn have benefits that reach beyond the state. Keller says technology allows states that haven’t been large corn producers in the past to have good yields and “carry the load” as they’ve gotten a little more rain than Iowa.

“The Dakotas, Minnesota, and even though Texas is in a drought, they are also having some decent looking corn,” Keller explains. Keller says the extra corn from those states help make up some of the difference when the yield in Iowa and other traditional corn-producing states is impacted.