Five New On-Farm Research Grants Announced

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Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011 7:29 pm | Updated: 7:45 pm, Thu Apr 28, 2011.

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University faculty and staff will work with 11 Iowa producers as part of the 2011 ISU On-Farm Research and Demonstration Grant program. The grants go to faculty-farmer teams to answer specific questions.

The goal of the program is to address important challenges facing the sustainability of Iowa agriculture through dynamic partnerships between farmers and researchers. The program is a collaboration of Iowa State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Practical Farmers of Iowa.

A total of $19,418 was awarded for five projects, each ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. All projects have a span of 24 months to be completed. Here are the research questions and who will be working on them:

*Does raw milk improve forage quality and boost beef production? Joe Sellers, ISU Beef extension specialist, will work with Ray Bratsch-Prince of Story County and Tom Cory of Polk County. The project will explore claims that cattle have an increased desire for grass that has had an application of raw milk, a by-product in the manufacture of cheese. The long-term goal will be to determine whether the new method increases the number of pounds of beef produced.

* What's the potential for aquaponics in Iowa? Craig Chase, ISU Extension farm management specialist, will work with Jeff Hafner, who owns Early Morning Harvest L.L.C. in Panora on this research question. Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics in which high-quality vegetables and fish are produced in the same facility with little environmental impact. The project will look at the economic and biological feasibility for an aquaponics operation in Iowa.

* Can Vitamin A supplements help control pink eye in cattle? Annette O'Connor, associate professor in the ISU Veterinary College, will work with Ron Rosmann, who has an organic livestock operation near Harlan. Pink eye, infectious bovine keratoconjuctivitis, is a severe infection when contracted by cattle and can account for major weight loss. The goal of O'Connor's project is to provide producers and veterinarians with better information concerning control of pink eye.

* How can granular insecticides be reduced in corn? Josh Sievers, ag specialist at the Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm near Sutherland, and Joel DeJong, ISU Extension field agronomist, will work with Mike Schouten of Sioux Center, Randy Van Veldhuizen of Hawarden, Rodney Mogler of Alvord and Dean Meyer of Larchwood on this research question. The project will focus on reducing the use of granular insecticides on corn hybrids that contain a protein from a naturally occurring bacterium that protects the plant from pests such as rootworm. The project will attempt to identify situations where granular insecticide might be needed and where it is unnecessary.

* Are there residual effects of no-till soybeans on the following year's corn crop? Sievers and DeJong will work with Ryan Odens of Little Rock, Pete Van Regenmorter of Inwood, and Mike Schouten of Sioux Center. Through previous research, this project found that there could be yield differences due to the previous soybean tillage practice. The goal to further explore this question is so that area farmers feel comfortable with their no-till soybean program and that it's a sustainable option for them.

SOURCE: Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture


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