Farmers showing optimism in latest Ag Economy Barometer

IARN — Farmers were more optimistic in August, as the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose to a reading of 144, 26 points higher than a month earlier. Organizers say the improvement resulted from improved perceptions regarding current conditions and better expectations for the future. The Index of Current Conditions rose 13 points in August to 124 while the Index of Future Expectations rose 33 points to 154. Read more

Alternative options for storing fall harvested grain

IARN — Over 100 million bushels of grain storage were lost to the derecho storm. The timing of such an event could not have happened at a worse time, as farmers were only a few weeks from harvest. Now producers must scramble to find alternative grain storage options. Read more

House Democrats allege Secretary Perdue violated Hatch Act

IARN — House Democrats claim Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue violated the Hatch Act during a visit to a Farmers to Families Food Box Distributor. Led by Democrat Marcia Fudge of Ohio, a group of lawmakers made the claim in a letter to the Department of Agriculture’s Office of Ethics. Specifically, the letter cites a potential Hatch Act violation by Perdue after he made political statements promoting the President’s re-election at the official government event on August 24. Read more

Enjoy cooler temperatures this week in Iowa

IARN — It appears those long 90-degree days of late are taking a break in Iowa.

According to Iowa State Climatologist Dr. Justin Glisan, Iowa residents will get to enjoy some comfortable weather conditions as we kick off the month of September this week.

“If we look at our short term outlooks going out into the first part of September, we’re actually showing a pretty good signal for cooler than average temperatures, but also an elevated probability for wetter than average conditions, so more rainfall for this time of year. That would be great for replenishing the subsoil moisture, and then getting those timely rains for our soybeans that need it.”

Any moisture would help Iowa farmers considering 96 percent of the state is in drought. Glisan notes that soybeans will benefit from any upcoming rains, but it’s probably too late to have an impact on the corn crop.

“We do want to look towards next growing season,” Glisan said. “We’ve diminished a lot of our subsoil moisture. So, getting that subsoil profile replenished is something we would need to do moving into fall and into winter by getting a good snowpack on the ground.”

The forecast outlook from the National Weather Service in Des Moines shows mostly dry but cooler conditions this week for Iowa, however, some lucky spots may see around a half inch or more of rain. Glisan says farmers can stay up to date on weather conditions and drought in a variety of ways.

“You can go to the Climatology Bureau’s webpage,” Glisan said. “You can basically Google ‘Iowa Climatology Bureau and it will bring you right there. It has all kinds of information for our farmers and stakeholders. Additionally, my email is My office phone number is 515-281-8981.”

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.