Newly Completed Research Summaries Available for Review at Leopold Center

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Posted: Monday, November 30, 2015 9:06 pm

AMES, IA -- Summaries of nine recently completed research projects are now available from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. Some of the topics include: how cropping systems reduce nitrate leaching into municipal well aquifers, patch-burning to manage tall fescue in beef grazing land, reducing the transport of nutrients through tile drainage of manure-applied land, municipal zoning for local foods, and the potential for community gardens linking with urban agriculture.

The guidebook Municipal Zoning for Local Foods in Iowa is a result of a one-year grant to the Community and Regional Planning department at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The guidebook, in three sections, outlines city zoning for land use related to many aspects of urban agriculture including bees, chickens, goats, front-yard and community gardens and more. The guidebook includes sample language for cities to use when establishing zoning laws. Another grant study, conducted in Des Moines, examines community gardens and explains how cities can integrate these areas with city planning.

The projects were funded by the Leopold Center's long-running Competitive Grants Program. The new reports summarize what was learned from each project, and offer links to related resources.

Project titles are:

  • The complex role of tall fescue in grassland ecology
  • A decision-making tool for the University of Iowa Biomass Partnership Project
  • Increasing the number of herbaceous species appropriate for restoration of nutrient capture by forest remnants in agricultural landscapes
  • Integration of water, nutrient, and carbon cycling under divers annual perennial plant community systems in agricultural landscapes
  • Investigation of bacteria transport and resistance mechanisms and implications for water quality from confinement swine and beef grazing production systems in Iowa
  • Performance of cropping systems designed to reduce nitrate leaching into shallow municipal well aquifers
  • Reducing local regulatory barriers to local foods: The Municipal Zoning for Local Foods in Iowa guidebook
  • Simple and fast detection of E.coli in agricultural water sources and runoff
  • Using spatially explicit supply/demand and local participants' perspectives to integrate urban agriculture with community planning.

The 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act established the Leopold Center to support development of profitable farming systems that conserve natural resources through research and education programs.

SOURCE: Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

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