Most of the state’s corn and soybean acres are harvested. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says the weather variability created a challenging year for farmers. “We certainly had some spots that were very disappointing for yield, but a lot of folks, while they probably didn’t get the yield they hoped for prior to planting, they got a yield that they thought was a lot better than what it could be by the end of summer,” Northey says.
The U.S.D.A.’s weekly crop report issued Monday indicated 93-percent of Iowa’s corn was harvested, while 99-percent of Iowa’s soybeans were out of the field. A proposal issued late last week by the federal government would cut the amount of corn-based ethanol that oil companies put in the gasoline supply by more than a billion gallons.
Northey says the plan won’t affect farmer profits this year, but there’s obviously reason for concern over the long term. “I don’t think we’re likely to lose ethanol markets, but we’re not likely to see it grow if those Renewable Fuel Standards, as proposed, stay there,” Northey says. “That’s true on the soybean side too.”
Governor Branstad and members of Iowa’s congressional delegation have vowed to fight the proposed EPA rule.