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

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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

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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…]

Iowa State University studying water storage to benefit crops, waterways

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Iowa State University is partnering with researchers at seven other land-grant universities to examine the economic and environmental benefits and costs of storing water from farm drainage systems for crops to use later and to reduce nitrate-nitrogen loss into waterways. The project, led by Purdue University, began this month and is funded by a $5 [Continue Reading…]

ILF Program Director Jacqueline Comito honored with National Wetlands Award

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The Environmental Law Institute (ELI), Washington, D.C., is announcing the recipients of the prestigious National Wetland Awards. For 26 years, individuals from across the country have been recognized for their exceptional and innovative contributions to wetlands. “Dedication, perseverance and excellence mark the common attributes of the extraordinary individuals recognized as this year’s National Wetlands Award [Continue Reading…]

CB2: Collaboration on biobased products

Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites was founded in 2014 as a premier research center dedicated to biobased plastics and composites. It is a collaborative effort by the Biopolymers & Biocomposites Research Team at Iowa State University (director, David Grewell, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering), the Composite Materials and Engineering Center at [Continue Reading…]

Engineering college names student marshal, outstanding seniors for spring 2015 commencement

Olivia Janusz

Twelve seniors to be honored at graduation ceremony Olivia Janusz, industrial engineering major and concurrent master’s degree student, will serve as College of Engineering student marshal during the spring 2015 commencement ceremony. She will be accompanied by Richard Stone, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, as she leads the engineering class into the ceremony [Continue Reading…]

Pit foaming research continues

ABE Pit Foaming

A $1 million Iowa Pork Producers Association-funded research project on pit foaming has entered its third year. Researchers provided an update at the Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines. “Our goal is to find and correct the mechanisms of foaming,” said Steve Hoff, an agricultural and biosystems engineering professor at Iowa State University and project [Continue Reading…]

ISU seed conditioning and quality evaluation workshops

ISU is once again offering a series of workshops on seed conditioning and quality testing procedures this summer. The workshop dates are rapidly approaching, so we are sending this brief reminder in the event either you or a co-worker might be interested in the program. The 2015 workshop schedule is listed below and on the [Continue Reading…]

ISU students win overall prize at NACTA judging conference

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Iowa State University student teams won the overall award among four-year institutions at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference April 8-10. The Sweepstakes Award was presented for the Iowa State teams’ good showing in 10 agricultural subject matter contests at the conference, which was hosted by Black Hawk College in [Continue Reading…]

New tool evaluates odor reduction

A team of Iowa State University specialists has developed an online tool to help livestock and poultry producers compare odor-mitigation techniques. The Air Management Practices Assessment Tool is web-based, available at www.agronext.iastate.edu/ampat at no charge. “The website was developed to help livestock and poultry producers identify practices to reduce odors, and emissions of gases and [Continue Reading…]

Agricultural engineering alumnus promoted to plant manager at Grain Processing Corporation

Brian Peters has been promoted to plant manager at Grain Processing Corporation (GPC). He joined the company in 2006 as Sweetener Division engineer and has held positions in other departments, including the Research Department, and most recently served as MALTRIN® Division superintendent. Peters is a graduate of Iowa State University where he received his Bachelor [Continue Reading…]

Data shows nitrates higher but improving in Iowa rivers

The role of farm production Much of Iowa’s nitrogen — and nitrates — are in the soil organically. Iowa has about 10,000 pounds of organic nitrogen per acre, according to Iowa State University professors Matt Helmers and Michael Castellano. “To get a sense of scale, a farmer might apply 150 to 200 pounds of nitrogen [Continue Reading…]

Iowa Task Force 1 trains for tornado rescue in Davidson Hall

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Former engineering building serves one more group before complete demolition Tornadoes, fires and floods are familiar to many Iowans, but Iowa Task Force 1 has more than the average amount of knowledge of what the destruction can be from those disasters. During catastrophes with missing persons, the group travels across the state to perform search [Continue Reading…]

Distillers Grains Symposium set for May 13 and 14

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The Distillers Grains Technology Council, based at Iowa State University, will host its annual scientific meeting next month in Kansas City, Missouri. “The symposium will provide the latest information and issues on distillers grains marketing and merchandising, animal nutrition, processing technologies and governmental regulations,” said Kurt Rosentrater, executive director of the Distillers Grains Technology Council [Continue Reading…]

Leopold Center Advisory Board welcomes new members

Two conservation leaders have joined the advisory board for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, a research and education center at Iowa State University. The new members are Cathy Kling, director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University, and Jody Kerns, a farmer and small business owner from Edgewood. Kling [Continue Reading…]

Symposium to focus on whole systems approach to global food security

Manjit Misra

The Global Food Security Consortium and the Seed Science Center at Iowa State University will welcome experts from around the world April 14 and 15 to discuss the components necessary for addressing global food security. The symposium, titled Interlocking the Pieces for Global Food Security, will offer sessions on nutrition; capacity building, education, entrepreneurship and [Continue Reading…]

CB2 produces biobased plant containers live at NPE2015

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For an on-site demonstration of injection molding with biobased plastics, booth S-18189 of the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2) in the Sustainability Pavilion was the place to be at NPE2015. That’s where biobased plant containers were molded from Bio-Res PLA, a 100% renewable and compostable plastic. The Bio-Res PLA plant containers are part of [Continue Reading…]

​Iowa State University Announces the Vermeer International Leadership Program

Iowa State University has announced the 18 students selected to make up the inaugural class of a new leadership opportunity for students for the 2015-2016 academic year, sponsored by Vermeer Corporation, a global industrial and agricultural equipment company. Following their application, 54 students proceeded to the interview process managed by University faculty in the Leadership [Continue Reading…]

ABE alumnus honored by Quad Cities American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

Jeremiah Johnson, an engineer with the Technology Development Group of the John Deere Harvester Works, was named Young Member of the Year for providing leadership for the section this past year as its chairman. He was named one of five New Faces in Engineering from ASABE as part of the 2015 National Engineers Week celebration. He received [Continue Reading…]

Ninety-three years later

March 23: Former Davidson Hall site, looking east toward Gilman (right) and Spedding (left) halls.

Crews made great progress over spring break dismantling the 93-year-old Davidson Hall on Osborne Drive, former home of the agricultural and biosystems engineering department. Less than two weeks lapsed between the photos (right and below). Much of the building — both its contents and its exterior — have been repurposed or recycled. The ISU student chapter [Continue Reading…]