Senior in agronomy Trace Bolsinger spent his summer working for the USDA: Natural Resource Conservation Service as a soil conservationist trainee.
Trace spent his days working with landowners to develop, implement, maintain, and revise complex conservation plans under the 2018 Farm Bill. He also helped promote, market, and implement the initiatives of the 2018 Farm Bill. Maintaining positive relationships with private companies as well as state and federal agencies that were in relation to natural resource concerns was also an important role for Trace. He also had the opportunity to evaluate the implementation of conservation plans and their alternatives under supervision.
Have you ever walked by agronomy hall and looked up and noticed some strange equipment on the roof? It isn't for decoration and it isn't top secret.
The roof houses several weather stations and labs. "The actual answer is the roof contains two automated weather stations that take data at one-minute intervals. The variables measured are temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, wind speed, wind direction, mean sea-level pressure, solar radiation, and UV index," Associate Teaching Professor Dave Flory said.
Data from the weather stations is both stored and made available through the Department of Agronomy's Iowa Environmental Mesonet. The following link makes data available to students and anyone interested in what's going on outside: https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/other/
In addition to the automated weather stations, the roof also houses the meteorology program's instrumentation laboratory.
Students from five different high schools in Eastern Iowa had the hands-on opportunity to learn about Iowa's agriculture industry through the day-long seminar - "Get the 411 on agronomy." It was the event's first year.
Students got an insight into agronomy after going though various stations, showing them agricultural equipment and technology such as rainfall simulators, drones, and sprayer calibration and simulation.
Rebecca Vittetoe, Extension Field Agronomist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach described the main goal of the event being to give students some hands-on education outside of the classroom as well as to educate them about possible career interests.
“I am pleased to announce the latest round of projects represent more than $2.03 million in funding for water quality research,” said Matt Helmers, Iowa Nutrient Research Center director and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State. “The new grants bring the total number of projects funded fully or partially by the center to 92, a total of more than $10.7 million invested in nutrient-related water quality research since 2013.”
The hills were blackened. What was once a house, now a concrete slab.
Wildfires brought destruction to the lush hillside vineyards, rangelands and forests of Napa County, California, in the fall of 2017. Six months later, Jacob Wright, a junior in agronomy, found himself in the midst of a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) team dedicated to the recovery of the landscape.
“Often people just didn’t know where to start,” says Wright. “We would visit the property and point them in the right direction. We worked together with multiple agencies at both the state and federal level.”
Genetic engineering systems are critical tools to advance crop genomics research and related crop improvement efforts in the United States and worldwide. These tools have been limited, however, by the high complexity and low efficiency of current crop transformation processes.
To help overcome these limitations, the National Science Foundation has awarded $2.9 million to Iowa State University and University of Wisconsin scientists to develop the next generation of crop transformation tools and the crop geneticists who’ll put them to work.
One of the pressing questions this fall is when corn will reach maturity and if there is going to be enough time to dry down in the field. We have developed and released a corn grain dry down calculator that can help determine how quickly corn grain moisture will dry down in the field. The calculator can be applied at any location across the Corn Belt, from North Dakota to Missouri and from Nebraska to Ohio. Users select a map location and then enter a date and a kernel moisture content at that date. In turn, the tool projects in-field corn dry down. This tool can be used to estimate when a specific field will reach appropriately moisture for mechanical harvest (15-20% moisture) based on user input. The tool allows scenario planning by entering estimated dates and grain moisture for crops that are yet to mature compared to fields where crops have already matured.
New students in agronomy had the opportunity to go on a field trip and visit various industry locations around North West Iowa as well as network with professionals and other students within the major. The trip was from Friday, August 23 to Saturday, August 26 and was organized by Mary Wiedenhoeft. Other agronomy faculty members also helped with the trip.
The group began by visitng NEW Co-op at Roelyn and then traveled to the Bormann Ag Center and NRCS in Bode, IA. They then spent the afternoon at Corteva Agrisciences in Algona, IA where they were able to visit both the production and research facilities. They ended the night with visiting Mycogen Seed in Storm Lake, IA and grabbing some pizza for supper.
Planting delays in Iowa last spring could prevent a significant portion of this year’s corn crop from maturing on time, said Iowa State University agriculture experts. That means farmers may still have corn to harvest deep into November as they attempt to give their corn fields as much time to dry down as possible.
An early freeze could stop a portion of the corn crop from reaching maturity, and farmers will watch temperatures closely in the coming weeks, the ISU experts said.