soil

Soil Biology Movies

This page contains 18 videos on life in the soil. To view a list of all 18 videos, click the Playlist icon in the upper right corner of the video player. From that list, choose the video you want to view, then click the "X" to make the list disappear again..

The Iowa State University Department of Agronomy’s very own soil team placed second in group judging and second overall out of eight teams in the soils contest hosted by Kansas State University. The team consists of 11 members; Jacob Wright, Kelli Roush, Erik Fevold, Eric Bro, Hannah Weber, John Green, Tristan Dittmer, Jacob Schultz, Austin Day, Collin Stark, and Catherine Thom. The team is coached by Amber Anderson, and her two assistants are Danny Brummel and Josh McDanel.

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.

Our Bradley Miller has been awarded the Dan Yaalon Young Scientist Medal by the International Union of Soil Sciences. Miller's current work in Agronomy advances the quantitative evaluation of spatial variations in environmental processes that affect the distribution of soil properties and how it impacts environmental quality and sustainable crop production.

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."

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.

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