Congress Passes Disastor Aid, Wet Weather Hurts Planting, 12:04

Jun 4, 2019

Missouri River, courtesy Iowa Farm Bureau

After many delays, Congress has passed a large disaster aid package with help for communities nationwide, including many in Iowa that are recovering from major flooding. Iowa Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says some on-farm losses not automatically covered by disaster aid now will be eligible.

0604grassleyaid That included my amendment to add on-farm storage grain, so they can qualify for disaster. You’ve seen the burst grain bins. This is the language the Department of Agriculture told me was necessary in order to help these farmers. (:17)

Grassley says the Department of Agriculture will be working out the details. The flooding ruined many bushels of corn and soybeans that farmers were holding in hopes of fetching a better price than they could get at harvest time.

Thanks to wet weather, it has been decades since Iowa farmers were so far behind in planting their expected corn and soybean crops.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday that 80% of the expected corn crop had been planted in Iowa in the week ending Sunday. That's three-weeks behind the five-year average and the smallest percentage planted since 1982 when 76% of the crop had been planted.

41% of the soybean crop that has been planted was the smallest percentage since 1993. The soybean crop is 13 days behind the five-year average.

A monthlong trial in state court has begun that focuses on whether former Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad discriminated against a gay Democratic official by pressuring him to quit or was exercising the governor's right to hire people aligned with his political philosophy.

Branstad was sued in 2012 by Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey, who alleged discrimination by Branstad and staff members who pressured Godfrey to resign in 2011.

When Branstad came into office in 2011, Godfrey had four more years before his term ended so Branstad couldn't fire him. However, the governor could set the commissioner's salary, so he cut Godfrey's pay by $39,000.