Last week,USDA announced as part of their August numbers that they believe corn farmers will achieve a record crop again this year. The expectation for harvest is 13.37 billion bushels, a 2 percent increase from the final 2009 harvest numbers.
However, the report, that reports a month behind, did not account for the widespread rain and flooding in the state of Iowa. Just yesterday, state officials announced that there are now 32 counties that have been declared “disasters” and are eligible for financial support from the federal government.
I reached out to the Iowa Corn Growers Association to learn more about how the rains would affect Iowa’s farmers and if they felt there could be a strain on the commodity with the growing use of corn for ethanol.
First, Iowa Corn said that despite the challenges facing Iowa farmers there is still optimism for a strong harvest. “We have farmers across the state who have battled with water this spring and summer to varying degrees. They are relatively optimistic about what the corn crop looks like on a statewide average. We don’t have any specific numbers on the crop, but the last report from WASDE said that Iowa’s corn crop was 65-75% good to excellent.”
The association noted that their farmers are confident that the crops that are doing well will carry the weight for those whose fields are under water. And the USDA has also predicted that they expect the per bushel per acre numbers to break records this year as well. They also stressed our country will produce more than enough corn for all markets, of which ethanol and livestock are the drivers in Iowa.
Iowa corn concluded by reiterating that American farmers can do it all. “We are sad to see so many weather issues affecting farmers across the state but we know that farmers battle weather of some kind or another each year and continue to do what they do best – produce food, fuel, feed, and fiber for the world.”