Ag Secretary Mike Naig. (RI photo)

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig is predicting Iowa will retain its spot as the number one corn producing state, despite challenging weather conditions in some areas.

“Crop development is really kind of all over the map,” Naig said during an interview with Radio Iowa. “…Generally speaking, drought is the number one issue that folks are thinking about, however there are parts of our state that have gotten exactly what they’ve needed throughout the year and then we’ve got parts of southeast Iowa that have had too much rain.”

The USDA’s latest crop and weather report shows some corn fields in northeast and west central Iowa were damaged by heavy rain, hail and strong winds in the past week, but 60% of Iowa’s corn crop is still rated in good or excellent condition. Naig said the number of acres planted with corn this year will be the deciding factor in keeping Iowa at the forefront in corn production.

“We are a big corn user in this state, so the user community, the livestock folks that use corn for feed and the processors are certainly looking at that supply very closely,” Naig said.

Sixty-one percent of Iowa soybeans are in that good or excellent category and 14% of corn has reached maturity, although the corn harvest has not yet started in Iowa.

“I think you’re going to see record yields in some places and you’ll yield reductions because of too much water or not enough water in other places,” Naig said, “and the true test is getting out and running the combine in the field and seeing what’s out there.”

Corn development statewide is about five days ahead of average, while soybean development is about two days ahead of normal.