Andersen comments on the danger of manure pit fumes

A father and his son who were so close that they were “like glue” were killed Saturday by noxious fumes from a northwest Iowa hog manure pit — the second father and son in the Midwest to die of poisonous manure pit gases this month. It takes just a few seconds for routine maintenance work [Continue Reading…]

Ways to make sure drinking water is safe

Everyone is concerned with protecting their drinking water. Small farm and acreage owners can find tips on how to maintain safe drinking water in the Summer 2015 Acreage Living e-newsletter from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Maintaining safe drinking water is critical for human health,” said Jamie Benning, water quality program manager with ISU [Continue Reading…]

Prominent agricultural engineering expert passes away

Dr. Graeme Quick, a retired professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State and an accomplished expert in the field of farm machinery, passed away this past May at his home in Queensland, Australia. Quick was born in Australia, but did work in around 30 countries before returning to his home country after retirement. [Continue Reading…]

Webinar series on ag drainage water management announced

A team of extension specialists from several universities in the Upper Midwest are developing a series of webinars on agricultural drainage water management and drainage water quality. Each of the webinars—to be presented monthly from July through December—will provide best management practices for improving drainage water quality and information from multiple states across the Midwest. The [Continue Reading…]

Farm safety, Chuck Schwab on IowaWatch

Last year also saw another record harvest in Iowa. And while the number of deaths on Iowa’s farms has declined in the past decade, it’s still the deadliest job sector in our state. Iowa State University Professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and extension safety specialist Charles Schwab told IowaWatch that improving the situation is [Continue Reading…]

Greenhorn grazing to optimize production

Participants in the Greenhorn Grazing program last month learned about identifying plant species, watering systems and managed grazing techniques at the John Schupbach farm near Elgin, Iowa. The next session, offer by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will be Tuesday, July 21, at Country Junction Restaurant in Dyersville, Iowa. The workshops will begin promptly [Continue Reading…]

Iowa Learning Farms guest blog post: Making a difference


Today’s guest blogger is Iowa Learning Farms/Water Rocks! student intern Pacifique Mugwaneza Simon, or Pac for short! Pac is a fourth year student at Iowa State University studying Industrial Technology and Agriculture System Technology. His family is originally from Burundi, a small country in East Africa, but Pac spent most of his childhood in refugee [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State among top universities granted U.S. patents

Iowa State is ranked 70th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2014, according to a report released this week by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Iowa State researchers earned 31 U.S. patents in 2014, including patents for wind turbine tower systems, computer encryption logic, bioasphalt, use of mesoporous silicates for delivering biomolecules into plant cells and improved treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Danfoss Fluid Power Teaching Lab places 3rd in photo contest


A photo submitted by Dr. Brian Steward, and taken by communications specialist Dana Woolley, earned 3rd place in the “Fluid Power Professionals in Action” category. The photo contest was started to celebrate the wonder of fluid power and those in this industry. It’s a fun, creative way to get professionals involved and showcase what they [Continue Reading…]

Axle loads, tires, equipment contribute to soil compaction

Everywhere you look, farm equipment keeps getting bigger and heavier and concerns over soil compaction increase as well. Combine and grain cart axle loads are some of the heaviest on row crop land, with axle loads for larger grain carts easily exceeding 75,000 pounds, according to Mark Hanna, an extension agricultural engineer with Iowa State [Continue Reading…]

Rising egg prices bedevil restaurants, grocers and consumers

It’s not entirely clear how the virus transferred from wild birds, which are carriers of the H5N2 virus, to poultry packed in enclosed facilities. Conventional wisdom says the virus is transferred through physical contact such as bird droppings. But Hongwei Xin, director of the Egg Industry Center and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at [Continue Reading…]

Canadian gift will help fund avian influenza research

Egg Farmers of Canada has committed $500,000 for avian influenza research to be awarded to and administered by the Egg Industry Center (EIC) at Iowa State University. Egg Farmers of Canada is the national not-for-profit organization that represents Canada’s more than 1,000 egg farms. Given the significant impact that highly pathogenic avian influenza is having [Continue Reading…]

Kent Corporation announces new hires

Jason Lents,  2011 Agricultural Engineering graduate.

Kent Corporation recently announced a number of new hires in various divisions, including 2011 ISU graduate Jason Lents. Lents is joining Kent Nutrition Group as an Industrial Engineer. He has a farming background and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. Jason was also a member of the ISU Livestock Judging Team.

FPEF Awards Scholarship to Andrew Hansen, Iowa State University

The Fluid Power Educational Foundation (FPEF) Board of Trustees awarded Andrew Hansen, mechanical engineering senior, a $2,000 scholarship. Mr. Hansen was one of the top eight (8) students and received the distinguished FPEF scholarship underwritten by Danfoss, Ames, Iowa. Hansen was formerly enrolled in ABEME 413 taught by Dr. Brian Steward, professor of agricultural and biosystems [Continue Reading…]

Egg Industry Center calls for avian flu research

With the avian influenza outbreak continuing to spread across Iowa, the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University is focusing its annual call for research proposals on projects surrounding the virus. The center releases a call for proposals for egg industry-related research as part of its research grant program every year, and is focusing on [Continue Reading…]

SCI announces 2015 Girls in Science Awards

The Science Center of Iowa (SCI) announced Friday that the recipient of their 2015 Girls in Science ‘Scientist of the Year’ award is Iowa State alumna Kristine Vanderwiel. Vanderwiel graduated from Iowa State University in 2011 with a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering and is currently a reliability engineer at the Flint Hills Resources Iowa Falls ethanol production facility.

Iowa State University to study benefits of farm water storage

Researchers at Iowa State University (ISU) are joining seven other university research teams to study the benefits to crops and waterways from storing water from farm draining systems, they announced this month. This project is funded with a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA). [Continue Reading…]

Xin discusses Avian Flu on Iowa Press

Fighting flu. Fearing consequences. Avian flu sending disease specialists, market managers, law enforcement and political leaders scrambling. Insight from three leaders in the fight on this edition of Iowa Press.

Does hog size impact manure production?

Daniel Andersen, aka Dr. Manure, addresses a multi-part question about the proper facility design and size to adequately handle the manure produced in a swine operation in a late-April blog. Andersen is an assistant professor in the Iowa State University Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department. He had received the question “why are more swine farmers [Continue Reading…]

Cyclone Power Pullers create tractor that makes life easier for operators


Don’t sweat the small stuff? Don’t tell that to the Cyclone Power Pullers. The team of 10 ISU students designed and built a quarter-scale tractor over the course of the last academic year to enter in a national competition this month. And, as countless engineers have learned before them, sometimes seemingly small details can lead [Continue Reading…]

Buchele awarded Anson Marston Medal

Wesley Buchele, professor emeritus of ISU’s department of agricultural and biosystems engineering, served in the U.S. Army and worked as a tractor engineer at the Deere & Company Waterloo Works before embarking on a career in academia. He began as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas in 1948 and then joined Iowa State [Continue Reading…]

Robotic Weeders


A new line of thinking in weed control – small, nimble, and sustainable – is gaining traction. The robotic mechanical intra-row weeder project is being proposed by Iowa State University (ISU) agricultural and biosystems engineering professors Brian Steward and Lie Tang. Originally funded by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s Marketing and Food System Initiative [Continue Reading…]

Prairie STRIPS program expands with new grant

Narrow strips of native prairie planted on cropland, like the one shown above, can yield immense environmental benefits. The STRIPS program at Iowa State recently received a USDA grant to expand its work. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Schulte Moore)

A recently awarded federal grant will help an innovative Iowa State University program expand its mission to protect soil and water quality by planting strips of native prairie on farmland. The three-year, $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will allow the ISU STRIPS program to widen its [Continue Reading…]

Agricultural and biosystems engineering’s new assistant professor researches systems modeling after working in agricultural and construction industry

Mehari Tekeste

Mehari Tekeste says international and industry experience will shape his teaching at ISU Originally from the small nation of Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, Mehari Tekeste has literally traveled the world before coming to Iowa State as an assistant professor this spring. All of his ventures have had one central theme – improving the [Continue Reading…]

Coming home to Iowa State

Ronald Leonard

Ron Leonard joins ABE department after graduating in 1956 After Ron Leonard’s 41-year career concluded at John Deere, his heart was still at Iowa State, where he graduated in 1956. That’s one reason he’s thrilled to be joining the agricultural and biosystems engineering department as an associate professor. “I was coming home to where it [Continue Reading…]