Researchers show weather variability impedes ability to assess trends in Iowa’s water quality

August 17, 2022

AMES, Iowa – When can we expect to see reduced levels of nutrients in our water if we make positive changes on the landscape? New Iowa State University research shows how complicated it is to give a sound answer to that question.

The research is featured in a recent article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Environmental Quality, co-authored by Ph.D. student Gerasimos J. Danalatos, Professor Michael Castellano and Associate Professor Sotirios V. Archontoulis, in Iowa State’s Department of Agronomy, and Calvin Wolter, a Geographic Information Systems analyst with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Trammo teams with Iowa State University and Hart Family to improve nitrogen management and boost crop yield

January 6, 2023

By Madeleine Resener, GeoPols

Nitrogen, one of the most plentiful gases in our environment, is both a friend and foe to our planet and to ourselves.

It makes up 45% of the nutrients used in fertilizers to grow corn, wheat, and soybeans.  That’s why it is essential to crop output. However, nitrogen can be a pollutant – especially when it seeps into water supplies through agricultural run-off or leaching.

Researchers have been exploring various techniques to reduce the nitrogen that ends up in lakes, streams, and other bodies of water.

Call for Proposals for Graduate Student Research Grants

March 31, 2023

The Water Security Initiative is a consortium of interdisciplinary researchers at Iowa State University collectively and collaboratively working towards advancing water security and justice throughout the urban-rural continuum. The mission of the initiative is to support world-class research and education in water sustainability that ensures equity for all people and care for natural and managed ecosystems. To promote graduate student research and engagement in this effort, a competitive grants program is open for graduate students at Iowa State University.

Updated Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Dashboards Indicate Measurable Water Quality Progress

May 24, 2023

DES MOINES, Iowa (May 24, 2023) – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the three principals of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, today jointly announced that the online dashboards that report the results of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy have been updated to reflect the latest reporting period. Today’s announcement coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Adoption of conservation practices continues to increase, and progress is expected to continue to build over the next decade as water quality and conservation practice implementation accelerate.

There is a need for more wetlands in Iowa

June 24, 2020

"Farm News" interview with Iowa Nutrient Research Center Assistant Director Kay Stefanik about the importance of wetlands and the roles they play in Iowa's landscape. Article (June 19, 2020) by Kriss Nelson. 

Harvested winter rye energy cover crop: multiple benefits for North Central US

August 15, 2023

A publication in Bioenergy Research Letters by INRC Director Matt Helmers and others, reports findings of a model-based investigation on the potential benefits of growing winter rye as a cover crop as part of corn-soybean rotations in the North-Central Region of the U.S. They concluded that harvesting fertilized rye CCs before soybean planting in this area could reduce nitrogen loads to the Gulf of Mexico by 27% relative to no cover crops, while providing an estimated 18 million Mg yr−1 of biomass-equivalent to 0.21 EJ yr−1 of biogas energy content (3.5 times the 2022 US cellulosic biofuel production).