Ramirez – Infiltration: Your unplanned inlet can reduce air quality

By Brett C. Ramirez* and Harishchandra Jadhav, Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Graduate Research Assistants. Proper air distribution from planned ceiling inlets plays a major role in providing an environment that is acceptable for both pigs and workers.

Hurburgh: Beware of moldy corn this spring

Ethanol plants need to be especially cautious of moldy corn this spring due to a humid fall and excessive amounts of corn stored in outdoor piles. Charles Hurburgh, Iowa State University Extension grain quality specialist and ABE professor, says mid- to late February will bring reports of moldy corn, hot spots and blue eye mold [Continue Reading…]

Hanna: Match sprayer to new herbicides

Don’t assume application requirements of new products and strategies to control resistant weeds will mimic those of glyphosate and other products you’re familiar with, cautions Dr. Mark Hanna, Iowa State University Extension Agricultural Engineer. Look now at labels of herbicides you’re considering for use next spring to prepare for proper nozzles and travel speeds, and [Continue Reading…]

Pit gases pose a danger in beef barns

Hydrogen sulfide gas is a serious issue in and around barns with liquid manure storage. The decomposition of organic matter in manure results in the release of several gases: ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen sulfide among them. Most of the time these gases are emitted at low levels, but any time manure is being agitated [Continue Reading…]

Hanna: Installing solar arrays becomes more attractive for farmers

“Not many people realize this, but Iowa is in the top third of states in terms of solar potential,” said Mark Hanna, agricultural engineering specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “The cost per watt for generating electricity has been dropping steadily, down to about $3 per watt as opposed to $10-15 per watt [Continue Reading…]

ABE Extension: Verify calibration and distribution when applying manure

Better distribution of manure nitrogen can help reduce the need to apply supplemental N as sidedressing in spring, thus resulting in cost savings and water quality benefits.

ABE faculty and extension specialists to present at farmland drainage workshop

Various aspects of farmland drainage will be the focus of a daylong workshop March 3 at the Iowa Bioprocess Training Center in Eddyville. The program is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. “This workshop is being offered due to the increased interest in this topic the past year,” says Kapil Arora, field agricultural engineer with Iowa [Continue Reading…]

Andersen explains specific manure concerns to pork producers

Dan Andersen, an ag engineer at Iowa State University, said between 25 and 30 percent of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium needs are provided through manure usage. “We have plenty of room for more,” he told producers at the Iowa Pork Congress here Jan. 25.

ISU Research Farms utilize conservation practices for science, stewardship

“The majority of our fields without trials are planted with cover crops. We also have planted milkweed for monarch butterfly conservation and for pollinator habitat,” said Schnabel, a 2010 graduate of ISU in agricultural systems technology. “All these practices add benefits to the land, environment and cropping system. Installing and utilizing these practices on our [Continue Reading…]

Ramirez: Minimum Ventilation – Design versus operation

By Brett C. Ramirez, Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Graduate Research Assistant. As we enter the middle of winter, it is essential we revisit the importance and role of Minimum Ventilation. It is understood that poor ventilation during the winter months can lead to moisture problems, hazardous gas build-up, and in general, [Continue Reading…]

Craft and Rosentrater named to CALS Sustainability Task Force

Kristina Craft is a graduate student working toward a master’s degree in agricultural and biosystems engineering. The goal of her graduate work is to increase understanding in the science involved in mitigating adverse water quality and soil health impacts of row crop systems while maintaining or improving upon production. Kurt Rosentrater, associate professor of agricultural [Continue Reading…]

ABE graduate students awarded scholarships

Congratulations to the following ABE graduate students who were recently recognized by the Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE): Conrad Brendel – Iowa Section ASABE Outstanding M.S. student: Brendel grew up in Elizabethtown, PA and completed his B.S. at Iowa State in [Continue Reading…]