College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Schwab retires after 30 years at Iowa State

Charles Schwab retired Oct. 16 as a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State after serving 30 years. Schwab also served as the ISU Extension and Outreach safety specialist for the state of Iowa. Since his arrival to campus on Aug. 15, 1990 – yes, he remembers the date – Schwab has been …Continue reading “Schwab retires after 30 years at Iowa State”

Kohl: Bigger cattle require better facility design

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.

Helmers: Tile water nitrate testing

“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”

Shouse: Keeping up with routine inspections key to keeping grain at high quality through summer

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.

Shouse: Shade, sprinklers keep livestock cool

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.

Brenneman: Drainage design — for profit and water quality

“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”

Shouse: Cattle building benefits factor into industry expansion

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”

Kohl: Warm temps bring storage considerations

In the past couple of weeks, high temperatures have been well above average, with dew point temperatures above grain temperatures. This can cause grain bins to act like solar collectors on the south side. The southwest side heats up, causing the air to rise and dry the grain, says Kris Kohl, Iowa States University agricultural engineer.

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 “Hurburgh: Beware of moldy corn this spring”

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 “Hanna: Match sprayer to new herbicides”

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 “Hanna: Installing solar arrays becomes more attractive for farmers”

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 “ABE faculty and extension specialists to present at farmland drainage workshop”

Hanna, ISU extension and outreach advises combine adjustment for wet fields

As the fall harvest continues to push on across the Midwest, frequent storms and rainfall have dampened many producers’ fields, and this trend will likely continue through October. Dr. H. Mark Hanna, an agricultural engineer with Iowa State University, has recently published a series of combine adjustment tips that could help producers better cope with …Continue reading “Hanna, ISU extension and outreach advises combine adjustment for wet fields”

Nation’s premier site for water quality science drives progress

Scientists often take many roads that lead to progress. For Iowa State University’s water quality research, an important path has gone through Gilmore City, Iowa. A farm just outside the north-central Iowa town is home to Iowa State University’s Agriculture Drainage Research and Demonstration Site, a facility that has been working to further Iowa State …Continue reading “Nation’s premier site for water quality science drives progress”