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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The Iowa Crop Improvement Association (ICIA) have completed this year’s Iowa Crop Performance Tests (ICPT) and are now out with their full 2020 reports for both corn and soybeans.

ICPT provide direct, unbiased comparisons among a large number of corn hybrids and soybean varieties, in many different environments. Data is posted online within 48 hours of harvest, giving you an early look at test results with full reports published after harvest is completed.

The ICIA, in conjunction with the department of agronomy at Iowa State University , conducts the tests on ISU research farms and cooperating private farms across the state.

You can find the full 2020 reports here:

Overexpression of soybean gene might lead to resistance from SDS and more

No matter if it is 50 acres or 50,000, crop producers must hone their management practices to maximize yield while minimizing costs. Any number of different pathogens or pests can derail a good season. Soybean farmers in Iowa know how devastating they can be, with some causing millions in losses each year.

Daryl Herzmann grew up on a dairy farm in northeast Iowa, and like most farmers, his days revolved around the weather.

"I was always frustrated by the forecast because we based our farming decisions on a two- or three-day forecast," the agronomy systems analyst said. "I decided I had to go to Iowa State and try to figure out how to fix this. That's where it dawned on me that it is not necessarily fixable, but it is a data problem."

The meteorology major began working with the Iowa Environmental Mesonet soon after graduation in 2001, providing better data to improve forecasts.

A new federally funded project led by Iowa State University researchers will help farmers share data relevant to their operations with one another and improve production.

The Smart Integrated Farm Network for Rural Agricultural Communities (SIRAC) project recently received a three-year, nearly $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop technology that will allow farmers to pool data and share knowledge to guide responses to production obstacles such as weeds, disease and pests. The effort will start out as a small pilot project and gradually expand to hundreds of farmers. The multidisciplinary research team will pair innovative data gathering methods with machine learning to make the information easily accessible to farmers in the program, said Asheesh Singh, a professor of agronomy at Iowa State and principal investigator on the grant.

 

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.

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