It's truly information at your fingertips. You can access agronomic information when you are in the field this spring, if you have a smartphone.
As soybean growers head to the field, the Iowa Soybean Association has made a wealth of agronomic information available to take along, via smartphone.
ISA encourages farmers to check out ISA Mobile (www.iasoybeans.mobi) while doing fieldwork this spring.
The association has added a number of production research resources to the website specially adapted for mobile devices. Among the easily accessible publications are the popular Weed Identification Field Guide, featuring full color photos, and the recently published Soybean Diseases book, with identification and management help regarding 25 soybean diseases. Besides video, the site also features podcasts that farmers can listen to while doing fieldwork; topics covered in the podcasts range from optimum planting dates to managing early season diseases and pests.
ISA director of contract research David Wright says, "This is an ideal resource for busy farmers and crop specialists. There's no cost to access this valuable soybean agronomic information, which was derived and developed from checkoff supported research at Iowa State University."
Iowa Soybean Association announces Food & Family Project
In other news, the Iowa Soybean Association announced last week that a collection of ag and food organizations will sponsor the Iowa Games this year.
The 25th anniversary Summer Iowa Games to be held in Ames and Des Moines in 2011 will have the Iowa Food & Family Project as presenting sponsor. The Food & Family Project is driven by the Iowa Soybean Association and includes other commodity groups, food producers and restaurants to promote Iowa agriculture.
"This is another way we can get the message out about how central agriculture is to Iowa," says Kirk Leeds, chief executive officer of ISA. No financial details were provided in ISA's announcement, and longtime sponsors of the Iowa Games (HyVee, Iowa Health System and the Iowa Food Bank Association) will remain in their sponsorship roles.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said at the press conference arranged by ISA that the sponsorship "reflects the strength of agriculture in our economy." Branstad said that when he spearheaded the beginning of the Iowa Games in the 1980s, the state was mired in an agricultural recession. "Things are different today," said Branstad, alluding to near-record farm incomes and land and commodity prices.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey was also present at the press conference last week. He says the sponsorship reflects what he calls the "Iowa agricultural ethic." He says, "When there is a need, agriculture shows up."
This year is the 25th anniversary of the Iowa Summer Games
The Iowa Summer Games are 25 Olympic-style events that in 2010 attracted 36,862 participants to various venues in Ames and Des Moines.
The Iowa Food and Family Project is the latest involvement by Iowa's roster of agriculture and food industries in sports sponsorships. The Iowa Corn Growers Association has taken over sponsorship of the Cy-Hawk Trophy series between Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. The Iowa Corn Growers also sponsor the Indy Car race held annually at the Iowa Speedway in Newton.