Iowa Agriculture

Iowa State Agriculture

  • Iowa’s agricultural sector has, at all times, been a key part of the economy of Iowa and has had a direct as well as an indirect impact. Nevertheless, the direct manufacture and trade of unprocessed agricultural harvests sum up to 3.5% of Iowa's gross state produce.

  • The indirect impact of agriculture in the economy can be calculated in numerous ways. However, its overall impact, including all agriculture-affiliated industries, has been calculated at 16.4% with respect to value added products and 24.3% with respect to total productivity. These figures are lesser than the figures listed for fiscal influence of the Iowan non-agricultural produce which sits at 22.4% of various value added services and 26.5% of total products produced.

  • The state of Iowa has approximately 11,000 types of soils which are considered to be the finest around the globe. These include a variety of the most productive types of soil on the globe.

  • The weather conditions in Iowa are excellent for the growth of crops. Hot summers are of assistance to the growth of plants and cold winters help the soil to replenish itself.

  •  The temperature of the state of Iowa is about 15°F in the month of January and 75°F in the month of July. The yearly standard temperature of the state is 49°F with the average precipitation rate of Iowa being 43.35.

  • Iowa's agriculture yields include crops like soybeans, corn, cattle, oats, eggs, and dairy products. Iowa is the country’s principal manufacturer of Ethanol and corn and it is also the biggest cultivator of soybeans.

  • In the year of 2008, approximately 93,000 farms in the state of Iowa produced around 19% of United State’s corn produce, around 17% of production of soybeans, and about 30% of produce in terms of hogs. A farm in Iowa is, on an average about 331 acres in size.

  • With respect to producing corn and soybean, the state comes in 1st among the other states of United States of America.

  • Iowa farmers produced approximately 13.9 million acres of corn, ensuing in 2.37 billion bushels, in the year of 2007. The corn crop production in Iowa can be estimated up to a total of $9.47 billion.

  • In production of other crops, Iowa harvested approximately 8.52 million acres of soybeans which amounts to 439 million bushels, in the year 2007, which in turn can be valued at $4.78 billion.

  • Iowa’s agriculture sector includes about 31.5 million acres of farm land out of which more than 89% of the land is used for farming.

  • The farmers in the state use a host of maintenance practices such as contouring of land, timely rotation of the crops, grass waterways, and management of crop remains.

  • The state of Iowa has the maximum area of land registered in the uninterrupted Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) sign-up. Farmers of the state of Iowa have enrolled more than 460,000 acres of land, or about 13% of the total acres that have been enrolled on a national scale.

  • Trees, grasses and soil on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land had projected a 17 million metric ton removal of carbon per annum, from the atmosphere in the course of photosynthesis.

  • For the purpose of manufacturing and production of crops, the state of Iowa has dedicated 55,875 square miles of land.

  • About 30.7 million acres of terrain has been totally dedicated to Iowa’s agriculture, thus making about 90% of Iowa’s land come in direct or indirect contact with the agricultural industry. 

  • In 2007, the state of Iowa was positioned 3rd, nationally, in terms of farm cash revenue which was approximately about $15.1 billion. Iowa is placed second in overall exports of agricultural products.

  • In 2005, the farmers in Iowa were accountable for exports of worth $4 billion. Iowa also was ranked 1st in the production of soybean and was ranked 2nd in production of feed grain.

  • In Iowa, Ajinomoto, Archer Daniels Midland, Quaker Oats, Diamond V Mills and the Monsanto Company are included in the list of important farm goods and manufactured food processors.

Iowa Agricultural Statistics

Top 5 Agriculture Commodities


Commodity Value of Receipts
Thousand $
Percent of State Total
Farm Receipts
Percent of US Value
1.     Hogs 3,131,685 27.1 25.1
2.     Corn 3,120,292 27.0 18.2
3.     Soybeans 2,238,890 19.4 17.5
4.     Cattle and Calves 1,824,202 15.8 4.5
5.     Dairy Products 550,368 4.8 2.2
All cCommodities 11,550,109   5.7

Top 5 Agriculture Exports, Estimates

Commodity Rank Among States Value Million $
1.     Soybeans and products 1 1,148.7
2.     Feed grains and products 1 970.2
3.     Live animals and meat 4 542.3
4.     Other 7 275.1
5.     Feeds and fodders 4 145.6
Overall 3 3,259.1

Top 5 Counties in Agricultural Sales 1997

Counties Percent of State's Total Receipts Million $
1.     Sioux 4.3 508.0
2.     Kossuth 2.0 242.8
3.     Plymouth 2.0 238.4
4.     Hamilton 1.9 227.2
5.     Carroll 1.9 221.5
State Total   11,947.9

List of Iowa Secretaries of Agriculture

S.No. Name Took Office Left Office Party
1 Robert H. Lounsberry 1972 1987 Republican
2 Dale Cochran 1987 1998 Democratic
3 Patty Judge 1998 January 2, 2007 Democratic
4 Bill Northey January 2, 2007 present Republican