Research

By Caroline Schneider, University of Wisconsin Madision

Organic farmers are in a tough spot when it comes to controlling weeds. Since conventional herbicides aren’t an option, many choose to use tillage — mechanically turning over the soil to upend weeds. However, tillage can take a toll on soil health and cause run-off. Increasingly, organic farmers are seeking better ways to control weeds while preserving soil health.

An interdisciplinary team at Iowa State University is trying to bridge the gap between agronomy and engineering to increase efficiency and reduce uncertainty for a range of key agricultural issues.

“Transgenic Approaches In Managing Sudden Death Syndrome In Soybean”

Our long-term goal is to create soybean cultivars resistant to soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS). Soybean is one of the world’s most valuable crops and the U.S. is the world leader in soybean production. In 2010 the U.S. soybean crop value was over $38.9 billion. Soybean suffers yield suppression from various biotic stresses, including SDS, which in 2010 caused losses valued at $0.82 billion. 

 

The transdisciplinary project team consists of experts from states and countries where soybean is an important crop: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Brazil and Argentina.  

Boone, Iowa held the nation’s largest outdoor farming event: The Farm Progress Show. This event took place August 28th through August 30th.  There were lots of new information to talk about over the three day event, some of that ranged from butterflies all the way to new tools that would greatly benefit agronomists.

Our Bradley Miller was presented with the Dan Yaalon Young Scientist Medal by the International Union of Soil Sciences at the World Congress of Soil Science in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil earlier this week. The award honors Dan Hardy Yaalon (1924-2014), a professor of soil science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dan H. Yaalon had 57 years of an exceptional research career. He contributed to some of the most fundamental issues of soils in space and time as well as theory and history of soil science. In particular, he made some of the most significant contributions in pedology and palaeopedology, especially regarding arid and Mediterranean landscapes.

AMES, Iowa – New research led by an Iowa State University agronomist identifies clear patterns in how plants react to different environments that could lead to new ways of predicting crop performance.

The research focuses on flowering time in sorghum, a globally cultivated cereal plant, but the results could have implications for nearly all crops, said Jianming Yu, professor of agronomy and the Pioneer Distinguished Chair in Maize Breeding. The study, published recently in the peer-reviewed academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focuses on phenotypic plasticity, or the way plant traits respond to environmental factors.

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