Thomas Lübberstedt is pushing the boundaries of genetics and its use in developing tools and methods to make plant breeding more efficient.
His work is leading to improved virus resistance and more sustainable agricultural systems around the world. The Frey Chair in Agronomy and Director of the Raymond F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding, Lübberstedt recently received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Outstanding Achievement in Research Award.
Lübberstedt grew up on a horticultural farm in Germany and earned his degrees from the universities of Munich and Hohenheim. He spent several years working in Germany, and then Denmark, before coming to Iowa State in 2007 to take an endowed chair position.
Sometimes the best education is one you can eat. Iowa State University students have an opportunity to do just that with the Good Earth Student Farm.
Organized as a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, the group puts shareholders – Iowa State faculty, staff and students – directly in touch with the student farmers who are growing their food. The farm provides hands-on opportunities for College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students as well as students from other colleges.
The farm is entirely student managed and averages around 50 shareholders per year. Shares are available to faculty, staff and students of Iowa State. Located at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station, Good Earth operates independently from the research station’s produce operation.
The 2020-2021 Brown Graduate Fellowship Program as administered by ISU’s Office of the Vice President of Research. This fellowship is to be used to strategically advance ISU research in the areas of study that are governed by the Valentine Hammes Family and Leopold Hammes Brown Family Trust. Fellowship funds (maximum request of $10K) can be used to assist current graduate students or by graduate programs in the recruitment of new graduate students.
Over the past few decades, Iowa’s agriculture has experienced a period of consistently high yields. The perfect distribution and timing of humidity, rainfall and heat have led to bumper crops of corn and soybeans. This “Goldilocks” period is partly due to global warming, but experts believe farmers shouldn’t expect it to last.
In an article from Physics Today’s February issue, “Iowa’s agriculture is losing its Goldilocks climate,” scientists Eugene Takle and William Gutowski describe the challenges farmers could expect to see to maintaining high yields if global warming continues along predicted trends.
Ask any farmer and they will explain the importance of soil. While seasonal weather can be the difference from a good harvest and a worrisome one, the soil moderates the long-term productivity of that harvest. The inherent properties of soil types are vital to know when it comes to management practices on any agricultural landscape.
“We rely on soil for so many different things, the list can be overwhelming at times,” said Bradley Miller, assistant professor of agronomy at Iowa State University. “You think about why the state of Iowa has the agricultural economy that it does, and that is largely because of the soil it has.”
Tetsuya Yamada, senior researcher with the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) in Japan is visiting Iowa State University as a visiting scholar under the guidance of Dr. Asheesh Singh, Associate Professor in the Department of Agronomy. Tetsuya obtained his undergraduate degree from Hokkaido University and recently received his PhD from the University of Tsukuba in Japan. Tetsuya has focused his research on soybean breeding for higher yields, pod shattering tolerance and green stem disorder. Although rice is the main crop in Japan, soybean production is essential in the making of common foods such as tofu.
Dense urban areas use up more energy, water and food resources than they can produce themselves, forcing them to rely on external sources. But a team of researchers, including our Dr. Matt Liebman, is imagining bold new ways to make Midwestern cities more self-reliant.
The Sustainable Cities Research Team recently received a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a framework for analysis of food, energy and water systems for greater Des Moines, which includes the city and the surrounding six-county area, and to formulate scenarios that could result in a more sustainable city. The team includes scientists from a wide range of disciplines at Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and University of Texas at Arlington.
Integrating perennial crops into corn and soybean rotations doesn’t consistently increase the ability of soils to store carbon, according to a new study that defies expectations for how diverse cropping systems affect carbon sequestration.