Bill Northey

Bill Northey

Thanksgiving is a time for farmers to look back on the harvest and review their work. Iowa Ag Secretary, Bill Northey, says there is plenty to be thankful for. “For most farmers in Iowa, we had awful good crops. We had some spots that weren’t…there’s lots and lots of fields out there that all yield different. For some of those fields, we had the best crops ever,” Northey says. “Certainly farmers are very thankful for that.”

Northey says the value of the crop has changed in the last year. “Prices now are different than they were at the beginning of the year or the end of last year, so they’ve softened up some. But the yields certainly help and that’s definitely one of the things a farmer is looking for when he plants his crop in the spring,” according to Northey.

There’s also hope that the prices will see some rebound. “Sometimes we see kind of an after harvest bump. Once folks store the crop away it takes usually a better price for them to go to the bin and pull it out. They put it in the bin with the expectation of seeing a better price, and we’ll see if that does happen or not, but often we see a little bounce coming out of harvest,” Northey says.

There’ll be several new federal lawmakers in the new year and Northey says that could impact trade deals and other issues impacting farmers. “I think we have a congress that in general that would be slightly more friendly to trade in both chambers, certainly in the senate, than what it once was,” Northey says. “We are still waiting on an RFS, a renewable fuel standard number for 2014… I don’t know that we would expect any help out of congress for that.”

Northey says with the makeup of the state legislature staying pretty much the same, he doesn’t expect to see any major legislation this year that would impact farmers. Northey operates a farm near Spirit Lake.