Department

About the Department

Agronomy is focused on new and improved ways of agriculture. New methods of conservation. Improved soil health. New approaches to bioenergy. Improved water quality. Advanced genetic traits. The end goal is producing food, fuel and fiber in a more efficient and economical way for the benefit of people and the environment around the world.

We are applying science to advance crop production systems while protecting and improving air, soil and water quality.

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Written by Riley Wilgenbusch and originally posted on the Iowa Learning Farms blog.

 

 

Iowa State University (ISU), the USA’s leader in agricultural modeling, and FluroSat, a world leader in agronomic decision support and remote field sensing, have announced their collaboration through a research project to advance predictability of N management.

The collaboration is structured around the APSIM model as both FluroSat and ISU are using this crop simulation framework. ISU as a member of the APSIM Initiative, brings expertise on cropping systems modeling and experience on modeling nitrogen in US environments. FluroSat brings advanced remote sensing capabilities and analytics at the sub-field level. With ISU’s knowledge and resources, the goal is to advance the science of informing in-season Nitrogen management decisions

Our Rebecca Johnson has been selected as 2020 Cargill Global Scholars.

The prestigious Cargill Global Scholars Program is an international scholarship program that began in 2013 and offers a scholarship award of $2,500 per year for up to two years. Lien Tran, a junior in environmental science was also selected.

Rebecca, a junior, will join the eight other scholars selected for the program’s eighth leadership development seminar facilitated by Cargill. The seminar will provide training in a variety of business and leadership skills. They will also each be paired with a Cargill business leader who will serve as their one-on-one mentor for the next 12 months.

The Iowa State University Department of Agronomy is the first North American entity to join the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) Initiative. The partnership converges advanced modeling technology from APSIM with decades of agricultural knowledge and experience from Iowa State.

APSIM is internationally recognized as a highly advanced simulator of agricultural systems. The unique set of tools provides accurate predictions of crop production in relation to climate, genotype, soil and management factors while addressing ongoing climate risks. The Iowa State Department of Agronomy has been using the APSIM platform for 10 years.

Soil science will offer a certificate between a minor and a major by providing official recognition for the focus area of study. A bachelor's degree from Iowa State University is not required to earn the certificate, and it is designed to match up with federal and state requirements to obtain a federal job classified for soil scientists and get licensure in states requiring it. 

Dr. Bradley Miller, assistant professor of agronomy, explains that the certificate requires 31 credits, but 22 of those may count from other academic programs that students are involved in. The certificate is built to help students have a strong foundation in understanding soil systems.

To meet the growing global food demand, plant breeding technology must increase crop yields in less time. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $748,548 Seeding Solutions grant to Iowa State University of Science and Technology to accelerate crop development. Iowa State University, KWS SAAT SE & Co, Beck’s Superior Hybrids, BASF, SAATEN-UNION BIOTEC and RAGT are providing matching funds for a total $1,497,097 investment.

Ella Carlson, sophomore in agronomy, is spending her summer as a Yield Trial Intern for Beck's Hybrids in Marshalltown, Iowa.

"So far I have been involved with planting and early season note taking. During planting I sat on the planted and dumped seed packets to be planted," said Ella.

After everything was planted, Ella began taking early season notes along with three other people. She analyzed the corn to see if it was doing good, bad, or if something went wrong when planted. Her notes will help researchers know why there may be abnormalities in yields when harvested. The interns take notes for several hours and then they go back to Marshalltown day after day to watch the corn. 

Chase Krug, junior in agronomy, is spending his at Reiman Gardens as their Plant Collections Intern. Chase manages the garden's vast collection of diverse plants and provides the public with educational outreach.

"My summer internship project involves creating a backup germplasm collection of the Dr. Griffith Buck Rose Collection to ensure it is well preserved for future rose breeders as a valuable genetic resource for disease resistant rose germplasm," said Chase. "Dr. Griffith Buck was a famed former rose breeder and professor at Iowa State who created and introduced 90+ varieties of disease-resitant shrub roses."

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