Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey called Friday's rain a nice start. Unfortunately, the state is still in the middle of a drought as crops are in dire need of even more precipitation.
Northey spoke at the Marshall County Pachyderm meeting Friday at the Central Iowa Fair. It's no surprise that this summer's lack of rainfall was the biggest topic.
"Every place could use some real rain," Northey said. "We are losing the top end of the crop. Some of it could still have some good yields."
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey spoke at the Marshall County Pachyderm Club meeting Friday at the Central Iowa Fair. Northey said the dry conditions are a concern for producers in the state.
He said this is the driest growing season he has seen since 1988, with the East Central part of the state having it the worst.
Despite the dry conditions, some areas have been able to sustain a good crop.
"We've got some fields out there that haven't seen much moisture in two months, yet they are still hanging on," Northey said.
Even though Friday's rain was light, Northey said it can boost morale for producers in the state.
"Part of it is that feeling that at least it can rain," he said.
Northey also talked about innovation in agriculture through the years, which has benefited farms in Iowa. He said in 1960 the average corn yield in Iowa was 75 bushels an acre. Last year, the state averaged 172 bushels an acre.
"We expect to be down a little bit this year," Northey said.
Northey is a big advocate of county fairs. He said not only do they teach 4-H youth responsibility, they also shine a light on agriculture.
"It's a great way for the public that's not necessarily connected to agriculture to get a taste," he said.
The Pachyderm Club will meet at noon Friday in its regular location of Cecil's Cafe with a presentation by State Auditor Dave Vaudt. The meeting is open to the public.