Keeping pigs comfortable during high heat and humidity

As the temperature and humidity level rise outside, producer need to address animal comfort indoors. Iowa Pork Industry Center interim director Jay Harmon said it’s the combination of air movement and wetting that help pigs. Wetting pigs is imperative because pigs don’t truly sweat like humans so. Wetting pigs is like giving them some artificial [Continue Reading...]

Floating World Installation in Biorenewables Complex

Floating World

Floating World, a public art piece, was installed in early July in the Biorenewables Complex on the west side of campus. The piece was created by artist Ralph Helmick who worked with a committee of faculty and staff from the agricultural and biosystems engineering department. The piece is located in the Sukup Hall and Atrium [Continue Reading...]

Agricultural and biosystems engineering grad student’s interest in the environment goes beyond the classroom

Kelsey Regan feature

Kelsey Regan has always had a love for the environment and adventure. As a former runner, Regan trained with Iowa State’s track and field and cross-country teams her first year of college. She left the team when she became injured and realized she wouldn’t continue running much longer. Looking for a new adventure, she took [Continue Reading...]

Selected current ISU livestock odor and air quality research and extension


Air Management Practices Assessment Tool Evaluation of polymer to reduce emissions from swine finishing facilities Estimating methane emissions Anaerobic digestion’s impact on odor, ammonia Diets that reduce ammonia emissions from hen houses Environmental assessment of laying-hen housing systems Quantifying emissions from swine facilities Community assessment model (CAM) for odor dispersion Biofilters conference and educational modules [Continue Reading...]

Big data fueling Iowa farmers’ productivity

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Big ag data, a catch phrase describing the aggregation and analysis of the vast stores of digital information generated by farmers, will fuel the next advancement in their productivity, experts say.

ABE student wins scholarship from meat industry

After holding a record-setting fundraising event during the Food Processing Suppliers Association Annual Conference earlier this year, a total of seven, $10,000 scholarships have been awarded to deserving students studying meat science at universities across the country by the Meat Industry Suppliers Alliance Foundation (MISAF). The scholarship winners include Ashley Collins, Kansas State Univ.; Cody [Continue Reading...]

Helmers to represent ISU in new federal collaboration to address hypoxia in the gulf

Water quality researchers and extension specialists at Iowa State University have joined with scientists at 11 other land-grant universities in the Mississippi River watershed and the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Hypoxia Task Force in a formal partnership to strengthen efforts to reduce the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Matthew Helmers, professor of [Continue Reading...]

Agriculture, history and art coalesce at ISU exhibit

Ralph Helmick

If you stand in just the right spot in the lobby of the shiny new Biorenewables Complex at Iowa State University, you can see centuries of agricultural history stretching up to the 75-foot ceiling. The story evolves — from an ancient prairie dragonfly to Dolly the cloned sheep — in a series of laser-cut steel [Continue Reading...]

Guest post: A new home for ABE

Treasures found in Davidson Hall

Steve Mickelson, department chair of agricultural and biosystems engineering, gives an update on the department’s move into Elings and Sukup halls.  Ask anyone who has ever been associated with the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, and they’ll all say the same thing – our new building was a long time coming. For years, the department [Continue Reading...]

Agricultural drainage techniques to be presented at Iowa drainage school

Agricultural Drainage

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will hold a three-day school beginning Aug. 19 to teach how to plan, layout, and install subsurface drainage systems. “The last several wet springs have shown the need for good drainage systems for profitable agricultural production. To function most efficiently, all components of a subsurface drainage system should be [Continue Reading...]

Recent rains whet farmers’ appetite for issue discussion at Summer Field Day


Agricultural engineer Mark Hanna talked about ways to cut energy use. “I think the first thing is to take a look at your energy bill and see how much energy you used, say, this spring for diesel fuel, for field operations, maybe look at how many acres you spread that over, how did you use [Continue Reading...]

Monitoring water quality in Iowa

Maurice Washington collects a water sample from tile drains in the South Fork Watershed north of Ames, Iowa.

A graduate student’s love for the great outdoors inspires him to educate the public about the increasing presence of emerging contaminants – chemical and microbial agents in the environment. Emerging contaminants might be the next big thing when it comes to future policy-making decisions related to human health and water quality, says Maurice Washington. Washington, [Continue Reading...]

Hunger help from the heartland


Global hunger has no easy answer. But as part of a partnership with the federal government called Feed the Future, researchers at land-grant universities are trying new approaches to the decades-old dilemma. Kurt Rosentrater, an assistant professor at Iowa State University, for example, is an expert on fish feed. He says that more nutritious feed, [Continue Reading...]

ABE student featured as CALS young alumni of the month


Name: Tyler Romoser Title and Company: Technical Training Instructor, Case New Holland Industrial Hometown: Keota, Iowa Major and Graduation Date: ‘12 agricultural systems technology, agronomy minor Main Job Responsibilities: As a technical training instructor for Case New Holland Industrial (CNH Industrial), my primary responsibility is to design, develop and lead training courses for our dealer [Continue Reading...]

ISU student awarded scholarship by Fluid Power Educational Foundation

Nathan Brace, senior in mechanical engineering, has been awarded a scholarship by the Fluid Power Educational Foundation. Fluid Power Educational Foundation’s (FPEF) scholarships help young people enrolled in high schools, technical colleges and engineering schools pursue their interests in fluid power. After careful review of all scholarship applications, the FPEF Board of Trustees would like [Continue Reading...]

ISU students visit Warsaw University, Ag Study Abroad in Poland (translated article)


Andersen offers expertise in hog facility expansion debate


Despite the large amount of manure being produced, pigs and other animals supply only about a quarter of the fertilizer needed to grow corn, soybeans and other crops in Iowa, said Dan Andersen, a professor in manure management and water quality at Iowa State University. The remaining fertilizer is manufactured, primarily outside the U.S., although [Continue Reading...]

New USDA report validates sustainability of biomass


Experts from Iowa State University and the United States Department of Agriculture (UDSA) have dtermined that after five years of soil nutrient data gathered at POET-DSM’s Project Liberty site are consistent with more than 500 site-years of additional soil research. The research team has concluded that the results show that biomass harvesting, which is now [Continue Reading...]

Move-in begins at Elings, Sukup halls


The first tenants occupied Elings Hall last week, one of two buildings that are the new home to the agricultural and biosystems engineering department. Its partner, Sukup Hall, contains research and teaching labs of all sizes. The two wings complete the biorenewables complex, phase 1 of which (Biorenewables Research Laboratory) opened in spring 2010. ABE [Continue Reading...]

Iowa State University energy efficiency experts are helping farmers save money

Iowa State University personnel are showing farmers ways to save money on fuel for machinery and other energy costs. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Written by Fred Love, Iowa State University News Service Iowa farmers can save a chunk of change simply by making sure their tractors are in the right gear, according to personnel at Iowa State University working to make agricultural operations run more efficiently. Many of the expenses associated with large-scale agriculture don’t give farmers much [Continue Reading...]

Several linemen distinguishing themselves in the engineering lab

At Iowa State University, there is a good partnership brewing between the football players and the engineers. In multiple cases, they are one in the same. Three offensive linemen headline a pack of aspiring engineers, who double as Cyclone football players. Daniel Burton (who started 8 games as a freshman) is majoring in mechanical engineering [Continue Reading...]

Students ‘get real engineering experience’ through tractor pull club

The Cyclone Powers Pullers club has given Jason Herbers a lot of experience for his future career in agricultural engineering. Herbers, senior in agricultural engineering, is currently preparing his team and quarter-scale tractor pull prototype for the national competition May 29 in Peoria, Ill. “This is a way to further develop engineering students and give [Continue Reading...]

Xin reports research on cost-effective way to pasteurize eggs in the shell


Researchers are testing methods that may eliminate the fear of salmonella contamination in raw eggs. Liquid eggs are already pasteurized, but Hongwei Xin of the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University says researchers are exploring ways to pasteurize shell eggs.

ISU students visit Warsaw University, Ag Study Abroad in Poland


On Friday, May 16, the Department of Production Engineering at Warsaw University in Poland welcomed a group of students from Iowa State University (USA). The meeting was organized by Dr. Piotr Borowski, who escorted guests around the Department, showed classrooms and laboratory extrusion consisting of, among others, single screw extruders with two instrumentation, enabling research thermomechanical treatment of [Continue Reading...]

As rocky racing turns to mud runs, Iowa State Baja Team expects more success

Baja 2014

5-27-14 Update: Somehow, the off-road racer built by Iowa State student-engineers held together through the end of the four-hour endurance race, earning the Baja Team its second checkered flag of the season and its best-ever overall finish. Sometime in the last quarter of the race, the rough, muddy racing sheared tubes used to repair damage [Continue Reading...]