(Radio Iowa) – State Ag Secretary Bill Northey has been touring the state to survey crop conditions and on Tuesday he made stops in the southwest Iowa communities of Council Bluffs, Hamburg, Shenandoah and Nodaway.
“It’s easier to see the good stuff between the wet spots now, whereas two weeks ago we were just seeing the wet spots,” Northey says.
Northey reports corn in southwest Iowa is waist- to shoulder-high. That’s in contrast to fields in northeastern and north central Iowa where corn was planted very late and it’s still quite short. Northey notes the weather has taken a turn for the better.
“It’s great to be getting to real summer weather and seeing those crops grow,” Northey says. “We’ve got a long ways to go, but all the farmers I’ve talked to are optimistic that even with the struggles they’ve had, the rest of the year is going to be good and we’re going to have big crops and hopefully prices as well are comfortable for livestock producers.”
Congressman Tom Latham, who represents the southwest quadrant of the state, joined Northey on the two-day southwest Iowa tour.
The latest Iowa crop and weather report from the USDA indicates the 2013 Iowa corn crop is about three weeks behind normal; soybeans are about two weeks behind. Warmer, drier weather has improved the condition of both crops. About 72 percent of the pastures in Iowa are rated good or excellent and the first cutting of alfalfa is about 89 percent complete.