Research

Forecast and Assessment of Cropping sysTemS (FACTS; 2015-present)

FACTS is an ongoing project developed to forecast and evaluate real-time soil-crop dynamics in specific ISU fields. Predictions and measurements will be frequently updated as new information becomes available during the growing season. 

What we do:

by Ellen Bombella, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service

Sotirios Archontoulis' curiosity about crops, soil and weather started at a very young age when he was growing up in Greece. He remembers going to the fields with his father, who was a farmer, in the heat of the afternoon to see if the crops needed watered.

"I thought to myself, there has to be a better way than this," Archontoulis said. "I was motivated to pursue agronomy because the farmers had to make important decisions without help."

By Ellen Bombela, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service

Jianming Yu is considered one of the top scientists in the world in quantitative genetics, which integrates plant breeding, genomics, molecular genetics and statistics.

His goal is to develop and implement new strategies and methods in trait dissection and crop improvement. His work has earned him the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Raymond and Mary Baker Agronomic Excellence Award.

His success is driven by constantly asking questions.

Dr. Antonio Mallarino kneeling in a soybean fieldJust like people, plants need nutrients to help them grow. Antonio Mallarino, professor of agronomy, has put together a team of scientists from across the Midwest to better understand how micronutrients aid growth and development of soybeans.

“Micronutrients are nutrients that are essential for crops but are only needed in very small amounts,” says Mallarino. “Those most commonly thought about by farmers are boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.”

Mallarino led a team of researchers and extension specialists from five universities in reviewing micronutrient research on soybeans in the North Central region. This included over 200 field trials conducted in five states since 2012.

Graduate student Kevin Falk and Dr. Asheesh Singh inspecting soybean rootsDNA is everywhere, including the root system of plants. Up until now few have studied the genetic basis of root structure because it’s difficult to observe how roots grow underground.

Asheesh Singh, professor of agronomy, and his doctorate student Kevin Falk are two of the few doing it with help from Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, professor of mechanical engineering, and Gwyn Beattie, professor of plant pathology.

Improved crop yield predictions are expected from Iowa State University research generated by a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research New Innovator Award grant announced today.Photo Credit: Kathryn Gamble

Sotirios Archontoulis, an assistant professor of agronomy, was one of seven scientists from across the country to win this year’s New Innovator Award.

Recent years of high rainfall and prolonged wet soil conditions in Iowa have renewed interest to protect losses of fertilizer nitrogen (N) in corn. This study evaluated effect of N additives and a slow-release urea product on the soil NO3–N fraction of total inorganic N, mid–vegetative growth N stress, grain yield, and corn nitrogen use efficiency. Earn 1 CEU in Nutrient Management by reading this article and taking the quiz at www.certifiedcropadviser.org/education/classroom/classes/516.

 

Crops and Soils Magazine - Digital Extra, October 5, 2017

AMES, Iowa – An Iowa State University agronomist is charting mechanisms – gene by gene – that could lead to soybean varieties resistant to sudden death syndrome.

A paper published recently in the peer-reviewed academic journal Plant Physiology shows a gene found in a model plant called Arabidopsis could confer improved disease resistance in soybeans. Madan Bhattacharyya, a professor of agronomy and lead author of the study, said his current research points toward several Arabidopsis genes that could act in concert to help soybeans fight off sudden death syndrome, a disease that has caused millions of dollars in crop losses for Iowa farmers.

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