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Iowa Secretary of Agriculture says there is hope for farmers to be profitable this year, despite drought conditions

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The abnormally dry temperatures continue throughout the state of Iowa, leaving much of the state in a drought.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions, for Iowa, 70% of the state is currently considered to be abnormally dry.

It also shows that over 55% of Iowa is in a moderate drought, which means soybeans are struggling and burn bans can be issued. And over 25% of the state is in severe drought conditions, meaning corn has low yields, livestock is stressed, fire danger is high and water conservation is requested. This portion includes much of northern Iowa and Siouxland.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says the state desperately needs rain to push the crops to the finish line, and that the off-seasons will be very important this year.

"This is really a long term drought, we need timely rain to get this crop to the finish line, I think things look surprisingly good all things considered, but we certainly need the rain in the fall and over the winter some snow to catch up and replenish that soil profile," said Naig.

Naig added he wouldn't be surprised to see the percentage of Iowa in a drought continuing to rise in the coming weeks.

Although, despite these difficulties, Naig says most prices are looking good, and the difference between this year and the last couple of years is farmers still have a chance to be profitable, but it will take a state-wide effort.

"We need to continue focusing on driving demand for ethanol and biodiesel, driving demand for meat and protein in the United States and around the world, and really playing offense and being aggressive with trade," said Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.

Naig added, Iowa is number two in the country for food and agriculture exports, which is very important for farmers. He also says risk management tools such as crop insurance protect farmers from things such as the drought.

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Brett Funke

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