Ideas and proposals are being sought for a unique program that pairs farmers with Iowa State University researchers to work on topics related to soil and water conservation and sustainability. Proposals are due Dec. 17 for the 2009 ISU On-Farm Research and Demonstration Grant Program.
This is the fourth annual call for proposals under the program - a partnership of the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Practical Farmers of Iowa. The program addresses the opportunities and challenges facing agriculture through collaborative, on-farm research.
During the past three years, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has awarded 32 grants to teams of ISU researchers and farmer collaborators. A total of $50,000 will be awarded in 2009 as one-time individual grants of up to $5,000, or up to $7,000 if more than one farmer is involved. Meaningful involvement of both producers and ISU researchers or Extension staff should be demonstrated in the proposal and project execution.
Important for farmers, researchers to work together
"This program recognizes the importance of farmers and researchers working together to tackle emerging problems in the field," says Jerry DeWitt, who directs the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and assists the college with the grant program. DeWitt says ISU faculty, Extension, staff or graduate students must be involved in proposed projects. Farmers' ideas may be the foundation of proposed projects, and will be compensated for their contributions; however, farmers may not apply directly for the grants.
Farmers and ISU personnel with ideas for proposals or interested in participating in on-farm research are encouraged to contact Rick Exner, 515-232-5661, ext. 108, [email protected] Exner assists in project development, matching scientists and farmers, plus provides suggestions on proposal development.
Primary funding is from ISU's College of Agriculture with additional support from Practical Farmers of Iowa, the Leopold Center and the Extension Sustainable Ag Program. Submission instructions and other information are available on the Leopold Center Web site www.leopold.iastate.edu/2009RFP_onfarm.pdf.
Last year's projects that received funding
Eleven projects received funding through the grant program in 2008. Project titles and participants were:
* Growing Peach Tees and Raspberries in High Tunnels - Eldon Everhart, Bill Buman
* Field-Scale Evaluation of Red Clover or Alfalfa Intercropped in Winter Cereal Grains - Lance Gibson and Jeremy Singer, John Whitaker, Bill Beaman, Paul Mugge
* A Multidisciplinary Approach to Remove Constraints in Grass-finishing Beef Production Systems: Identifying Nutritional Factors to Improve Marbling and Tenderness - Don Beitz, Jon Schoonmaker, Karl Dallefeld, Linda Grice, Ryan Jepsen
* Sustainable Weed Management of Primocane-fruiting Raspberries for Iowa Growers - Gail Nonnecke, Angela Tedesco, Dennis Portz
* Allee Farm Area Agronomy Research Project - Paul Kassel, Lyle Rossiter, Mark Licht
* Improving Water Quality by Managing Subsurface Drainage - Matt Helmers, Kris Kohl, Bruce Rowher, Mark Olsen
* Manure Management from Deep- Bedded Confinement Beef Barns - Russ Euken, George Cummins, Angie Rieck-Hinz, Hardin County producers
* Assessment of Winter Cereal Grain Establishment and Spring Grazing Potential in a Corn on Corn System - Tom Kaspar, Jerry Peckumn, Sarah Carlson
* Comparison of High-Methionine Maize as a Substitute for Dl-methionine in Broiler Diets - Kristjan Brengendahl, Linda Pollak, Vic and Cindy Madsen, Cindy McCullough, Sarah Carlson
* Research on Pest and Disease Problems for Iowa Cucurbit Growers - Mark Gleason, Gary Guthrie, Phil Funk, Jan Libbey, Tim Landgraf, Laura Krouse, Susan Jutz
* Address the Need to Develop Viable Options for Beginning Farmers - Dave Stender, Gary Huber