By Dar Danielson, Radio Iowa
State Ag Secretary Mike Naig says he is hearing good things as the harvest is almost done.
“They’re telling me that they are thrilled with the yields and the grain quality given what they thought could be the case with the drought that we had across the state,” Naig says. “We really had historic levels of drought this year and folks are seeing yields that are much better than we had expected as we were coming through the summer months.”
He says farmers are also thankful for replenishing fall rains. “We got rain late in the season — and even as we got into fall we started to get some rain — which is a double-edged sword — we desperately needed the moisture and if you were still working on the harvest, of course, that delays things some. But we’ve seen a dramatic improvement,” according to Naig.
He says there will be less worrying about soil moisture heading into the spring.
“We’ve still got some areas that have rain deficits of six-plus inches — but we’ve had exactly the kind of fall we needed — good moisture coming, it’s soaking in, the ground is not frozen, it’s absorbing into the soil profile and that’s good news,” he says.
Naig says supply chain issues were a concern during the harvest — and they are not over yet. “Logistics continues to be a great challenge in ag — and certainly, that’s getting input to the farm and then also getting grain off the farm,” Naig says. “Farmers have a mix of things, many will have, most will have some ability to haul their own grain, but they do rely on coops and trucking companies and ag retail to help them out as well. Finding drivers we know has been a challenge for folks this year.”
Naig says there’s a lot of good to reflect on for this Thanksgiving holiday. “It’s a time to be thankful. We’ve had a very good year all things considered from a weather standpoint, and the markets are strong. But with that has come an increase in input costs. So when you look at the ’22 growing season farmers are looking at the price of fertilizer, the price of the crop protection things they need, feed and equipment — all of those things are on the rise. And of course with the issues around logistics — can you get the things that you need?”
The soybean harvest is completed and the corn harvest has less than five percent of the crop still in the fields.