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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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. 

                

 

Dr. John Pesek was a soil scientist, champion of sustainable agriculture, teacher and leader. Regrettably, our esteemed colleague passed away February 11. With over 40 years of service to the Department of Agronomy and Iowa State University, Dr. Pesek left a lasting legacy.

Dr. Pesek was born November 15, 1921 in Hallettsville, Texas. He received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from Texas A&M in 1943, at which point he entered the military. He was a member of the 98th Bomb Group within the 15th Air Force.

 

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences recently selected outstanding faculty and staff to be awarded for their contributions to the education, service, research, and dedication that makes CALS so great. The Department of Agronomy would like to recognize our very own who were awarded.

 

 

An online, interactive course to develop successful long-term weed management programs.

Plan ahead. Dealing with herbicide resistance can be expensive. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates the cost of dealing with herbicide resistance once it occurs to be $20 to $60 per acre. Therefore, implementing a long-term weed management strategy that reduces the chances of resistance developing will maximize long-term profitability.

This online, interactive, and self-paced course contains narrated presentations, lesson activities, and resources to provide farmers and agribusiness professionals the tools to develop successful long-term weed management plans that will maximize long-term profitability. Well worth the $50 to register.

Register here

waterhemp seedling

The Iowa Crop Performance Tests are gearing up for their 100th year of gauging the yields of hundreds of seed varieties, an annual effort that helps farmers decide what seeds to plant the following year.

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