Land, climate and farming enterprises vary considerably from one area of the state to another. To find solutions to the problems in each area and to study the impacts of regional differences, Iowa State University’s Ag Experiment Station puts researchers in the fields at research farms across Iowa. Farms near Ames are used for intensive studies and for teaching purposes.
More than 130 Iowa State University faculty members use the College of Agriculture’s research farms in Iowa for teaching, research and Extension. About 15,000 people visit the ISU Research and Demonstration Farms across the state each year. Here are the upcoming fall field days scheduled for the various farms and topics to be covered.
Aug. 15: Muscatine Island Research Farm
Research on corn, soybeans and vegetables will be featured Aug. 15 during a field day at ISU’s Muscatine Island Research and Demonstration Farm. The field day is from 1 to 4 p.m. at the farm, located at 111 North St., at Fruitland in Muscatine County in southeast Iowa. There is no charge for attending. The farm serves commercial produce growers and farmers of agricultural crops. Melon production is popular in Fruitland due to its coarse, sandy glacial soil; groundwater that is close to the surface; and a warmer, longer growing season than most of Iowa.
Topics scheduled to be presented at the field day include:
• Overview of research trials — Josh Michel and Dominic Snyder, agriculture specialists
• Biochar potato and sweet corn study — Ajay Nair, associate professor of horticulture
• Soybean variety trials and studies — Kevin Falk, agronomy graduate student
• Soybean cyst nematode trials and studies — Greg Tylka, professor of plant pathology and microbiology
• Local agronomic issues — Virgil Schmitt, ISU Extension field agronomist
To register for the event or for more information about the farm, contact manager Joshua Michel at 563-262-8787 or [email protected]; or visit the research farm’s website. The field day is sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach and the Muscatine Island Research Farm Association.
Aug. 17: Armstrong Research Farm near Lewis
Iowa State University’s Armstrong Research and Demonstration Farm near Lewis in southwest Iowa will present a variety of agricultural topics at a field day Aug. 17. The field day runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon, with lunch following. Registration begins at 9 a.m. There is no charge for attending, and the field day is open to the public.
Mark Licht, ISU assistant professor and cropping systems specialist, will begin the program speaking about yield response to delayed corn and soybean planting dates. Tim Youngquist, STRIPS project farmer liaison, will explain the soil, water and wildlife benefits of growing row crops integrated with prairie strips. A high-tech cattle feed bunk that measures individual feed intake will be demonstrated by Garland Dahlke, an ISU animal scientist and livestock specialist.
ISU’s Armstrong Research Farm is at 53020 Hitchcock Ave., near Lewis. The town of Lewis is 13 miles southwest of Atlantic on Highway 6, one-half mile south on 525th Street and three-quarters of a mile east on Hitchcock Avenue.
Aug. 22: Neely-Kinyon Research Farm
ISU’s Organic Agriculture Program will sponsor a field day devoted to organic research and production practices Aug. 22 at the Neely-Kinyon Research and Demonstration Farm near Greenfield in southwest Iowa. The field day starts at 4 p.m. with a light supper at 5:30 p.m. The farm is at 2557 Norfolk Avenue, Greenfield. The farm is 2 miles south of Greenfield on Highway 25, 1 mile east and a half mile north.
The farm is owned by the Wallace Foundation for Rural Research and Development and operated by the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The field day is supported by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. ISU’s Organic Agriculture Program has studied best management practices for maintaining high yields while enhancing soil and water quality for transitioning and certified organic farmers.
Through timely weed management, longer crop rotations and appropriate manure-based fertilization, the program has demonstrated comparable organic corn, soybean, oat, alfalfa, vegetable and fruit yields to conventional crops. More information about the program is online.
This field day will begin with a farm tour of the Long-Term Agroecological Research experiment, a comparison of organic and conventional crops, and the Organic Vegetable Research (OVR) experiment, which compares performance of organic production with cover crops vs. tilled and mulched systems. The OVR partnered with Bill Tracy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in a trial of organic sweet corn varieties, which are bred for insect and disease tolerance, along with excellent taste.
Cynthia Cambardella, a USDA Ag Research Service scientist and ISU associate professor, will present soil and water quality data. She’s documented a 50% reduction in nitrate loading from organic vs. conventional systems at her Ames research site.
Mike Witt, ISU Extension field agronomist, will discuss issues facing producers this summer, including insects and disease, herbicide drift and weather problems, which affected planting and potential yields from drought stress.
Denise O’Brien, of Rolling Acres Farm in Atlantic, will speak after dinner highlighting organic practices on her certified organic integrated vegetable and livestock farm. Since 1976, O’Brien and Larry Harris have been committed to organic production and cultivating local food. She will share tips for successful organic production and discuss this year’s growing and marketing opportunities and challenges.
Aug. 25: Northeast Research Farm at Nashua
The ISU Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm at Nashua in northeast Iowa will host a field day Aug. 25 with information for the upcoming harvest. The field day is free and open to the public. It will run from 1 to 4:15 p.m. at the farm, located at 3321 290th St., near Nashua in northeast Iowa.
Chad Hart, ISU professor of economics, will begin the program in the farm’s Borlaug Learning Center, by providing his insights on the grain markets. Shawn Shouse, ISU Extension ag engineer, follows with tips on grain drying and storage. Farm tours will follow with Alison Robertson, ISU Extension plant pathologist, sharing crop disease research results from the farm and their applications. ISU Extension weed management specialist Bob Hartzler will discuss Iowa’s first season with dicamba-resistant soybeans and other weed management priorities.
To reach the farm from Nashua, at the junction of Highway 218 (Exit 220) and County Road B60, go west on B60 1.1 miles to Windfall Avenue, then south 1 mile to 290th Street, then east 0.2 mile to the farm. CCA credits will be available for field day sessions.
Sept. 7: ISU Southeast Research Farm
ISU’s Research Farm at Crawfordsville in southeast Iowa is having a field day on Sept. 7. The program is to be announced. Likewise, programs and topics have yet to be announced for the annual North Iowa Fall Research Farm field day at Kanawha, which is a crops and soils field day. Check the ISU website for updated information for these two research farm field days.
If you have any questions about any of the upcoming ISU fall field days, call the ISU Research and Demonstration Farms office at 515-294-5045 at Ames or visit farms.ag.iastate.edu/visitors.
Source: Iowa State University