New Research Progress Reports for ISU's Iowa Nutrient Research Center Available

AMES, Iowa — Six-month progress reports now are available online for research projects funded through the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University.

The center was established in 2013 by the Iowa Board of Regents in response to legislation passed in 2013 by the Iowa Legislature and signed by Governor Terry Branstad. The center received $1.5 million from the Iowa Legislature for 2013-2014 and an additional $1.3 million for 2014-2015.

Research funded through the center is designed to evaluate the performance of current and emerging nutrient management practices, provide recommendations on implementing the practices and develop new practices.

Plans for the first 10 research projects were prepared by scientists at Iowa State, the University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa, each addressing critical needs or gaps in nitrogen and phosphorus research identified in the science assessment that was part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Highlights from June 1, 2014 progress reports include:

  • Seeking a better understanding of farmers’ current management strategies and attitudes toward managing nutrients and soil health, including data collection with 40 farmers in selected watersheds.
  • Evaluating saturated buffers in priority watersheds.
  • Developing three new models to quantify nitrogen removal benefits over a range of precipitation and stream flow.
  • Developing user-friendly tools and financial information to help farmers make decisions on adopting effective nitrogen and phosphorus management practices.

A website for the Iowa Nutrient Research Center provides background information and progress reports on all 10 projects. The website is part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy website.

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based approach to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways and the Gulf of Mexico.

The center’s director is John Lawrence, the associate dean for extension and outreach in Iowa State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of ISU Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension and Outreach.