Iowa Ag Secretary, Bill Northey, just returned from a trade trip to Turkey which he calls eye opening. “I didn’t realize how significant Turkey was as they compare themselves to the European Union and the other countries that have a lot of agriculture — Germany and France and the UK, other places. Turkish agriculture is actually bigger than any one of those. It’s the seventh largest agriculture in the world,” according to Northey.
“So it’s an agriculture that not only is significant now, but it’s growing.” Northey says Turkey has an interest in some Iowa agriculture progress. He says they aren’t as interested in the export of grain, as they’ve had some restrictions on genetically modified corn and soybeans.
“But the machinery side, the grain storage side, they are looking to grow,” Northey says as the country brings more land into production. Iowa doesn’t just grow the crops, there are several companies in the state that help harvest them and get them to market.
“We have world-class producers of all those things that help farmers, and help process their crop. When we go to other places, often we see a lack of that,” Northey says. “And our folks have very good standing and are held in high regard by folks in other countries.”
Northey says keeping the grain that is grown in other countries safe and usable can be a problem as he says there can be a lot of post-harvest loss if you can’t take care of grain or animals, which can lead to the loss of a lot of money> Northey says that means there is money available to buy the products that protect the harvest.
He says Turkey could be a good market for those Iowa machines and storage units that handle the crops and cattle. Northey was on the trade trip last week with representatives of Iowa companies and with other ag officials from, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania.