(RADIO IOWA) The new U-S Drought Monitor shows the areas of Iowa with extreme and severe drought dropped following recent rains.
Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig says a lot of farmers are thankful for the rains.
“You know, you’d still say, and then the drought monitor will still say, that we’re dry. And you know, 100 percent of the state of Iowa is in at least abnormally dry. And you’ve seen persistent drought in some places like along western Iowa, southeast Iowa, there’s a pocket. But once again, this year, we’ve seen timely rain,” Naig says. He says the impact of the drought has not been totally washed away.
“We’ve got some places in the state that certainly will, we’ll see some yield reduction because of that persistent dryness,” Naig says. “But as I’ve traveled the state, there’s a lot of places that look really good. So now’s when you need rain, you still need to finish this crop off. And it’s good to see a more active weather pattern.” Naig was at the Iowa State Fair for its opening ceremonies Thursday. He touted the new “Choose Iowa”
“This is something that the legislature funded this past year, it’s time for us as a state to have a branded program for Iowa-made, Iowa-raised, Iowa-grown products,” he says. “So you know, it’s everything from a farmer selling beef direct to a consumer or a vegetable producer who’s working with a restaurant working with a chef.” Naig says consumers have been asking for and want to consider local when they are buying food. “I see a lot of exciting opportunities here. And I think too, for small and beginning farmers, just more market opportunities for folks to sell. And again, consumers are going to win in this whole thing,” he says. Food, beverages and other agricultural products that are grown, raised or made within Iowa and meet or exceed minimum criteria can carry the “Choose Iowa” logo.