Extension

Extension and the Department

Since the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, faculty within the Department of Agronomy have served as Extension specialists sharing their knowledge and current research with Iowans to advance agriculture and improve environmental quality. Field agronomists also serve the state by offering field days, insight on current conditions and sharing thoughts on future circumstances. Our specialists and the Extension field agronomists are joined by colleagues in Entomology, Ag and Biosystems Engineering, Plant Pathology and Microbiology to form the producer's dream team called Integrated Crop Management.

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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

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.

Research on the benefits from prairie strips placed in crop fields continues to grow at Iowa State University.

STRIPS, or “Science-based Trails of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips,” is a project investigating strips of farmland converted to native prairie plants. These strips are typically created between crops, at the edge of farm fields, or on lower performing fields.

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.”

More than 80 farmers, academics and members of the agricultural supply chain met in Des Moines, Nov. 25, for an Iowa Smart Agriculture Initiative forum co-sponsored by Solutions from the Land and Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. They met to explore and assess the impacts that extreme weather events and changing climatic conditions are having and are expected to have on the state's number one industry — and how the agricultural sector can contribute to addressing these issues.

The forum was coordinated by a  work group co-chaired by Iowa corn and soybean producer Ray Gaesser, a past chairman and president of the American Soybean Association, and Daniel J. Robison, Endowed Dean's Chair of Iowa State's College of Agriculture and Life Science and a co-chair of the Iowa Conservation Infrastructure Initiative.

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.

Prepare for a long harvest season.

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.

The Hora brothers won Best of Show during the 2019 Iowa State Fair 'pitch-off' for their business Continuum Ag. Mitchell Hora is an agronomy alum and his brother David will join the agronomy family as a freshman this Fall. 

Continuum Ag was established by Mitchell as an agricultural consulting company offering soil sampling and fertility analysis. With a realization that traditional agronomic consulting only addresses the chemical soil component, Continuum Ag has differentiated itself by working with growers that take a more holistic approach, recognizing the physical and biological aspects of soil as well.

From the Continuum Ag website:

About 30 FFA chapters from across Iowa converged in Agronomy Hall to participate in the annual Iowa FFA Agronomy CDE. Flexing their agronomic knowledge, students participated in a written exam, plant identification, crop judging and team competitions. The top team goes on to compete at nationals held each hear at National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. 

                

 

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