soil

Cruse Lab

Recent research project objectives include:

  • Estimating cropping and tillage system impacts on soil erosion across Iowa
  • Identifying wheel loads necessary cause soil compaction in Northeast China
  • Estimating soil loss associated with ephemeral gully formation
  • Estimating phosphorus loss in runoff water based on soil erosion and water runoff estimates

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

Micronutrients are needed in very small quantities by plants, but are essential for their growth and production. A search for understanding how micronutrients can be better managed in the Midwest’s soybean fielsoybean fieldds has led to new research and a regional publication on the topic.

This research and general management guidelines are summarized in the publication “Micronutrients for Soybean Production in the North Central Region” (CROP 3135) and is available through the Iowa State University Extension Store. Antonio Mallarino, professor and extension specialist in agronomy at Iowa State University, led a team of researchers and fertility extension specialists from five universities across the Midwest who worked on the project.

A new class is requiring agronomy students to give up part of their summer. While it might sound like a bummer, they are looking forward to it. Dubbed Agronomy 279, the new class is one sophomores majoring in Agronomy will have to take to graduate. The class will meet for the first time during the fall 2017 semester. The catch? Their first class will be Aug. 7, according to the agronomy department.

The addition came after the agronomy department said it decided to redesign the curriculum. Agronomy 279 will be an application of material students learned in Agronomy 181 and 182. Students will go outside in the fields to learn about soil and crops.

“Students really like hands-on activities,” Erik Christian, lecturer in agronomy, said. “Students do a lot of training in the summer when they go work on their internships and that’s going to be out in the field. [Currently], we don’t offer them those experiences.”

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University is a partner institution in a new, $104 million research center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the project will study the next generation of plant-based, sustainable, cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts.

The DOE grant will form the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation, one of only four in the nation. The center will be a collaboration between Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

Evan H. DeLucia, the G. William Arends Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Illinois, will serve as the center’s director.

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