ISU corn stover training paying off for Iowa small businesses and startup companies

In the cornfields of central Iowa last fall, employees of newly created, small, local businesses prepared and collected corn stover — the stalks, leaves, and cobs left after grain harvest — as feedstock for the DuPont Biofuels Solutions cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, which launched production in the fall. The corn stover harvesters were trained [Continue Reading…]

CoE faculty grants funded by Leopold Center

Leopold Center

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has awarded grants to 17 innovative research and demonstration projects that promise to move agricultural production toward greater sustainability while improving Iowa’s soil and water resources. The research will provide new knowledge on soil health, specifically how phosphorus moves under different cropping systems and how certain changes deep below [Continue Reading…]

NFPA funded research developing contaminant sensor – ISU Tech Brief

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Students at Iowa State University are working on a research project, Dielectric Spectroscopic Sensor Development for Hydraulic Fluid Contaminant Detection, funded by the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation. The goal of the project is to develop a practical dielectric sensor for detecting contaminants in hydraulic fluids. The sensor was designed and fabricated to be low [Continue Reading…]

Hanna offers tips for saving fuel, energy on the farm

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Energy costs may not be your largest expense on the farm, but it’s one that you can jump in on and make a fairly large impact without changing productivity, says Mark Hanna, Extension ag engineer at Iowa State University. He offers ideas for conserving fuel, including reduced tillage passes, shifting up, front-wheel assist and hybrid [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State students part of global challenge to reduce food insecurity

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Olivia Reicks and Trey Forsyth want to be part of the solution to end world hunger. It’s a daunting task considering that it will take a 70 percent increase in food production by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing global population, but that only serves as motivation for the two Iowa State University [Continue Reading…]

Cellulosic bales dot countryside

While the move toward cellulosic ethanol has often appeared to be in slow motion to outside observers, those working directly with the new industry say much is being learned about harvesting the cornstalks used to run the first cellulosic plants in Iowa and the Midwest. “We’ve come a long way,” says Keith Webster, a researcher [Continue Reading…]

Water conservation adds up in swine operations

Hog producers use a great quantity of water, and in addition to water conservation being the environmentally correct thing to do, producers have a number of other reason to watch every drop they use in their operation. Daniel Andersen, Iowa State University assistant professor in the department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, talks swine operation [Continue Reading…]

Harmon plays key role in new state-of-the-art home for his department

Jay Harmon stands in the atrium of the new buildings in front of its impressive artwork.

Extension specialists are trained to be able to communicate technical information to a wide range of audiences. They act as bridges between research and application, so it was no surprise that Jay Harmon, agricultural and biosystems engineering (ABE) professor, brought those skills to the construction of the Biorenewables Complex. Harmon’s combination of expertise, communication skills [Continue Reading…]

Xin weighs in on egg price spike in California

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Starting 2015, the California egg law passed six years prior finally went into effect, making it so no eggs can be sold in the state unless the laying hens had 116 square inches per bird. Even though the law is in California, any state wanting to sell there must comply. It essentially doubles the amount [Continue Reading…]

Demolition nears for ISU’s Davidson Hall

When Iowa State University classes resume in January, one long-standing campus building will be in the process of demolition. Davidson Hall, built in 1922 and located on the northwest side of campus just east of the Armory, was emptied this summer as faculty and staff moved to the Biorenewables Complex — the new Sukup and [Continue Reading…]

New tool evaluates options for reducing odors in livestock operations

A team of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists have developed an online tool to help livestock and poultry producers compare odor mitigation techniques that could be useful on their farms. Air Management Practices Assessment Tool, AMPAT for short, is web-based and available at no charge at www.agronext.iastate.edu/ampat. “The website was developed to help [Continue Reading…]

Mark Hanna named I-CASH 2014 Hall of Fame recipient

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Mark H. Hanna, PhD, has been selected as the Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health’s (I-CASH) 2014 Hall of Fame award recipient. Hanna holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees from Iowa State University and has been an Agricultural Engineer at ISU Extension for many years. As a machinery expert, Hanna works to include safety [Continue Reading…]

ABE students recognized for achievement at ATMAE conference

Two ABE graduate students won national scholarships at the recent Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) conference. ATMAE sets standards for academic program accreditation, personal certification, and professional development for educators and industry professionals involved in integrating technology, leadership, and design. Michael P. Thornton, a doctoral student in Industrial and Agricultural Technology, was awarded the Clois E. Kicklighter [Continue Reading…]

Repurposing the contents of Davidson Hall

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The 92-year-old Davidson Hall — former home of the agricultural and biosystems engineering department — is being prepped for demolition, which gets underway in early January. An asbestos abatement crew will complete its work later this month.

Iowa State University researchers make fish food from Iowa agricultural commodities

Kurt Rosentrater

Researchers at Iowa State University are charting new waters by turning the state’s agricultural commodities into fish food, work that could help farmers find new revenue streams and provide a boost to U.S. fish production. Kurt Rosentrater, an assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, is studying how food derived from corn and soy can [Continue Reading…]

Andersen offers new “Manure Scoop” blog

A new blog from Iowa State University professor Dan Andersen discusses topics pertaining to the science of manure. Andersen says he will be writing about how manure is handled, options for treatment, how to effectively use it as a fertilizer, potential environmental impact and new technologies being developed to improve manure use. The most recent [Continue Reading…]

Misra represents ISU at UN hunger event

Twenty-six presidents and other senior administrators – representing a consortium of more than 60 universities worldwide – signed the Presidents’ Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security at the United Nations on Dec. 9, creating a blueprint for higher education’s role in waging and winning the fight against hunger and malnutrition. Manjit Misra, director of the [Continue Reading…]

ABE, BRT student recognized for excellence

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Kwang Ho Kim, a Ph.D. student minoring in the Biorenewable Resources and Technology (BRT) program at Iowa State University, has been recognized for excellence by Iowa State Graduate College for the fall 2014 semester. Kim, who is majoring in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, received a certificate of achievement and an honor cord to be worn [Continue Reading…]

CoE students visit Uganda to improve rural livelihoods

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Summer provides opportunities for Iowa State students to apply their engineering skills to African agricultural practices and education. Two Iowa State student engineers visited the Kamuli District in Uganda this past summer with different groups and for different projects. However, they shared the same goal: enhance the quality of life in rural African communities. Hand-operated [Continue Reading…]

Engineering college names student marshal, outstanding seniors for fall 2014 commencement

Tori Sorensen

Twelve seniors to be honored at graduation ceremony Tori Sorensen, electrical engineering, hails from Corning, Iowa, and will be serving as the College of Engineering student marshal during the fall 2014 commencement ceremony. She will be accompanied by James McCalley, Harpole Professor of electrical and computer engineering, as she leads the engineering class into the [Continue Reading…]

ISU, Grewell to Lead New Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites

The Iowa Board of Regents today approved the National Science Foundation Industry & University Cooperative Research Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites. The center’s research will develop knowledge about the production of an array of high-value products, including plastics, coatings, adhesives and composites, from agricultural and forestry feedstocks. A partnership among universities, industry and government, the [Continue Reading…]

Cube-shaped ISU room is like nothing you’ve ever seen

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Iowa State University’s C6 simulator can take you inside a burning house, an active shooter situation and even a fire aboard the International Space Station. The C6 is a cube-shaped room in Howe Hall on the ISU campus in Ames. Every side of the cube lights up with images and with the addition of 3D [Continue Reading…]

New bio-engineering center up for Board of Regents approval

Iowa State is requesting approval to establish a new center to develop high value biobased products from agricultural feedstocks. The Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites would be in the Center for Crops Utilization Research and a National Science Foundation Industry and University Cooperative Research Center. The NSF would fund administrative costs and industry funds would support [Continue Reading…]

Helmers: Prairie strips can reduce nutrient loss

Helmers Prairie STRIPS

The first year that prairie strips were strategically planted in corn and soybean fields near the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, they worked to reduce loss of nutrients that can impair water quality, says Matt Helmers, an agricultural and biosystems engineer at Iowa State University. “Things like plant diversity — the diversity of the prairie [Continue Reading…]

Working the land and the data

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An article in the Nov. 30 issue of The New York Times details how farmers are working not only the land, but also the data. For some farmers, technology offers a lifeline, a way to navigate the boom-and-bust cycles of making a living from the land. The article mentions Lie Tang, agricultural and biosystems engineering, [Continue Reading…]