U.S. Senator Joni Ernst made a stop at the Iowa State University Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm to talk about how research can impact and improve farmer's lives. Our Sotirios Archontoulis shared information about the Forecast and Assessment of Cropping sysTemS (FACTS) project. Researchers are collecting data from nine different locations on:
- heat and frost stress
- soil water and nitrogen
- crop water and nitrogen
- crop stage
- yield predictions
- various weather measurements
Long-term the project hopes to use computer modeling to minimize a farmer's financial risk by predicting the best management decisions to increase profits.
Greg Brenneman, field specialist, also talked about the Transforming Drainage project. The Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm is one of 16 controlled drainage locations and is spearheaded by Matt Helmers in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.
Local farmers and board members of the Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm attended giving their perspective on how the research has helped their land management efforts.
The conversation included discussions about the state of publicly funded agriculture research, potential improvements to current government programs like theUSDA Farm Service Agency's Conservation Reserve Program and the trade situation with China.
KGAN and Fox news out of Cedar Rapids covered the event for the evening news.