Improving food systems in Iowa requires a lot more than just a knowledge of agriculture. Anuj Mittal, Ph.D. candidate in industrial engineering (IE) at Iowa State University, has been part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study which will allow food hubs in Iowa to share supply chain best practices among each other and …Continue reading “Improving food systems in Iowa through industrial engineering”
The American Journal of Industrial Medicine says a 2008 report indicates farmers and farm workers 55 and over are nearly twice as likely to die in farm accidents. Of those fatalities, Tractors accounted for 46 percent of those deaths. Fortunately, there are groups working to make tractors safer. Chuck Schwab of Iowa State University Extension describes …Continue reading “Schwab describes evolution of rollover protective structures”
“We’ve been looking at these practices for a long time to identify how we can reduce nitrate loss from drainage systems and optimize crop production,” says Matt Helmers, ISU Extension ag engineering professor and a member of the team that helped develop the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, introduced in 2013.
Big cattle need plenty of room. The exact amount of recommended space per animal varies by the type of feed yard. Kris Kohl, Iowa State University Extension agricultural engineer, gave a rundown of stocking density guidelines at a cattle stewardship seminar at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds in Spirit Lake last month.
“We have 172 plots in all, and take about 4,000 water samples a year from them,” ISU Agricultural Engineering Specialist Dr. Matt Helmers told a group of farmers and agribusiness reps at the ISU Ag Engineering and Agronomy Research Farm near Boone. He said ISU has more than a $500,000 investment in drainage water quality …Continue reading “Helmers: Tile water nitrate testing”
Shawn Shouse, a field specialist with Iowa State University Extension, said producers should inspect their bins when empty to ensure they’re in good condition and they’re not allowing in water. It’s important to keep them clean and dry on the inside to avoid mold buildup and rust.
Calm and muggy days are particularly troublesome for feedlot cattle, says Shawn Shouse, Extension ag engineer with Iowa State University. Many feedlots are without shade, leaving cattle to sometimes bake in the summer sun. Some feedlots offer natural or manmade shade, and Shouse says adding even the smallest bit of shade can make a difference.
For Sophie Rotole, a junior in agricultural engineering, it’s been a great experience for an undergraduate. “Miniponics 3.0 was a great success for me personally. It was a great opportunity to experience the engineering design process. I really enjoyed designing and constructing a product from start to finish and watching it function as intended,” she …Continue reading “Ag engineering student brings aquaponics to ISU and beyond”
ISU Extension ag engineer Mark Hanna told attendees that a proper planter setting is critical for the row crop. He advises placing the corn seed at a soil depth of 2 inches using down pressure to ensure consistency of seed placement, and having the disk openers set such that they would hold a piece of …Continue reading “Hanna: Integrating cover crops and livestock operations”
In a recent Iowa Learning Farms webinar by Iowa State University Agronomist Matt Helmers, he dispelled some myths and misconceptions about water quality and drainage problems in corn and soybean fields.
Harvested corn, like all food, can spoil or grow mold in certain situations. Farmers have to take care to keep their product safe to sell. Last fall, there was a large crop and farmers had to pile grain. On top of that, the humidity or dew point was high, so there are concerns that the …Continue reading “Hurburgh: Grain storage concerns after warm winter”
Jay Harmon has been named the interim associate dean for extension and outreach programs and the interim director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University.
“While subsurface drainage is important for crop production, we need to consider the design of these systems for proper function, as well as to minimize nitrate loss,” says Greg Brenneman, an Iowa State University Extension ag engineer. Drainage systems need to be designed for efficient collection of excess soil water, as well as adequately moving …Continue reading “Brenneman: Drainage design — for profit and water quality”
Shawn Shouse, Extension ag engineer with Iowa State University in Lewis, Iowa, says while most of the technology remains pretty much the same, interest among the cattle industry is growing. “Based on our survey, about half of the expansion in the beef industry over the past five years has been done with confined buildings,” he says. …Continue reading “Shouse: Cattle building benefits factor into industry expansion”