The ISU Soil Judging team traveled to regional competition in Crookston, Minnesota last week. After practicing for a couple days, the team dug (ha!) into the contest pits. An entirely new team, some of whom joined just three weeks before contest, it was an incredible learning experience.

"Overall it was a valuable learning experience," said Jonah Gray, agronomy and environmental science major. "I spent the entire week in soil pits where I could apply the knowledge I gained in class and build a deeper understand of soil as a whole."

Including the addition of a new judging category. Jumble judging combines members from two different universities to form a full team. Both teams that our students served on placed 2nd and 3rd, showcasing their teamwork skills.

Iowa State University scientists are leading an effort to improve efficiency and genetics in organic corn production, a fast-growing sector of the agricultural world since the beginning of 2020.

Thomas Lübberstedt, a professor of agronomy at Iowa State, leads a research team aiming to develop new lines of corn that take advantage of recent advancements in crop genetics that also can be grown according to organic standards. The research team recently received a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to apply genetic tools to the development of organic sweet corn and varieties of corn for specialty uses, such as for popcorn and tortillas.

We would like to announce the election results for the 2021 - 2022 R.F. Baker Plant Breeding Symposium Committee! 

Election results are as follows: 

A team led by an Agronomist researchers will expand and revamp an electronic toolbox designed to help farmers and landowners identify the conservation practices best suited for their land.

The team received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to add to and expand the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF), which was first completed in 2013. ACPF relies on data concerning field boundaries, land use and soil conditions for watersheds across the upper Midwest to help guide decisions on conservation practices to improve watershed health and water quality.

Improved, practical crop breeding tools are essential to meet the increasing global demands for sustainable food production, made more urgent by the unpredictable stresses driven by a changing climate.

Farmers who want to increase the productivity and economic performance of their farmed potholes should consider more flood-tolerant crops, such as miscanthus.   

Recent research by Iowa State University scientists found expected increases in weather variability, especially more intense, frequent rainfall in the spring, are likely to adversely impact crop yields in areas susceptible to flooding and ponding. Their modeling, based on observed and predicted data, shows miscanthus, a grass species known for its high biomass production, is likely to have better survival and yields and could be more profitable.

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is based in Mexico and strives to contribute to the development of a world with healthier and more prosperous people, free from the threat of global food crises and with more resilient agri-food systems. Dr. Kevin Pixley is the deputy director general for research of breeding and genetics and director of the Genetic Resources program.

The Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University announces funding of over $1.4 million to support eleven new water quality and nutrient management projects for 2021-2022. Researchers from Agronomy are involved in four of the eleven projects.

Can adjustments to nitrogen rates reduce corn yield drag and disease implications following a cereal rye cover crop? (Licht, McDaniel, et al)

Continued assessment of corncobs as an alternative carbon source to enhance bioreactor performance for improved water quality (Archontoulis, et al)

Name: .Elizabeth ChristensonElizabeth Christenson

Hometown:  Sheboygan Falls, WI

Major and Graduation Date:  Agronomy & Animal Science, May 2018


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