During the Farm Progress Show this week, I caught up with Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey. I asked him what the corn crop was looking like in Iowa in particular, as Boone, Iowa is the host of this year’s Farm Progress.
Northey said that for the most part, Iowa is going to have a great corn crop as well as bean crop- especially with the August rain. He said that there are some pockets that had too much rain and hail in June (this affected his farm) but overall, the corn crop is going to offset some of the below average acres and Iowa should see a record crop.
Another key issue that Northey has been working on with Iowa farmers is a water quality initiative. Just this week the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Pork Producers Association launched the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) to increase farmer awareness of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and their adoption of science-based practices proven to demonstrate environmental benefits.
Northey said they he has been involved with multi-state hypoxy work group (aka Dead Zone) to reduce chemicals in the ground water supply. The work group realized it would be up to individual states to implement strategies so Iowa released the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The state has made significant funds available for water quality practices ($20M in 2013 / $10M in 2014) that farmers can voluntarily adopt.
This is where the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance comes in – they will engage farmers on how to implement water strategies as part of the nutrient plan.
Learn more about the corn crop and Iowa water quality strategies by listening to my interview with Bill Northey: [wpaudio url=”http://www.zimmcomm.biz/farm-progress/fps14-bill-northey.mp3″ text=”Interview with Bill Northey”]
View the Farm Progress 2014 Flicker photo album.