WEST DES MOINES- While the results of the drought-stricken crop of 2012 is yet to be tallied, the recently-released Iowa Agricultural Statistics booklet shows that Iowa farmers continued to lead the nation in corn production in 2011, accounting for 19 percent of the U.S. crop. And despite more acres being planted to corn, Iowa's soybean harvest was also the largest in the nation.
The statistics are compiled by the Iowa office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service's (NASS) and based on surveys and questionnaires completed by Iowa farmers. The 123-page book is published by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF).
"Iowa's farmers continue to lead the nation in the production of corn, soybeans, pork and eggs despite a variety of production challenges brought on by extreme weather and market challenges including very volatile pricing of both inputs and what they produce," said Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services. "The 2011 Iowa Ag Statistics highlights some of the variability in production county to county that existed in Iowa in 2011. Northwestern Iowa had near record crops while some of the south-central and southeastern counties experienced less robust yields."
The book includes information regarding crops, livestock, farm economics and county-specific data.
"The book details Iowa's vibrant and dynamic agricultural industry," said Iowa NASS director Greg Thessen. He highlighted Iowa's top-of-the-nation status in the following areas: corn production, soybean production, hog and pigs inventory and value, egg production, capacity of on-farm grain storage, feed grain export value and meat export value.
"This book helps share the positive story of the productivity, efficiency and tenacity of the Iowa farmer," said Craig Hill, IFBF president. "In many cases, our farmers are raising the grain that will feed their livestock.
And they are so efficient that they're also raising feed for export. Our farmers are doing an excellent job of balancing their farming operations, meeting the needs of many different customers and always working to protect the land from which it all comes. It's a truly sustainable cycle."
The strong grain production efforts support the state's livestock industry, which continues to be strong in the wake of rising feed prices. Iowa's cattle and hog producers earned $10 billion in cash receipts, an increase of 22 percent over 2010's results. Cattle accounted for $3.4 billion of cash receipts and hogs totaled $6.7 billion.
While the number of farms in the state in 1950 was more than 200,000, that number in 2011 was 92,300. The land in farms in the state has also remained fairly stable, with 30.7 million acres being farmed.
The book costs $11 and can be ordered from the Marketing and Communications Division, Iowa Farm Bureau, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266. In addition, a CD-version of the document is available for purchase for $10. Checks should be made to the Iowa Farm Bureau.