On-farm Research Pilot Program Underway in Northwest Iowa
May 16th, 2005
Iowa State University has created an on-farm research program in Sioux, Lyon and Osceola counties.
"There has been an increased interest in on-farm research. If this pilot project works well, we will expand it to other areas of the state," said Mark Honeyman, coordinator of Iowa State’s Research and Demonstration Farms.
The Research Farm is partnering with ISU Extension and the Northwest Iowa Experimental Association, owner of the Northwest Research and Demonstration Farms at Sutherland and Doon, in this pilot program. Iowa State Research and Demonstration Farms operates the farms, conducting experiments on agricultural crops, tillage and soil fertility.
"This program provides extension field staff an opportunity to conduct on-farm applied studies that address specific questions posed by producers. These on-farm studies will be designed to provide science-based information that is applicable to the soils and climate in Lyon, Osceola, and Sioux counties," said Gerald Miller, associate dean of extension and outreach programs in the College of Agriculture.
Joel DeJong, ISU Extension crops field specialist in Northwest Iowa, is lining up farmers and other cooperators to do the on-farm research. Farmers in the three counties interested in getting involved in the program are asked to contact him.
He said he has done some on-farm research and demonstration projects for several years on an informal basis. This year he plans to set up studies comparing fungicide effectiveness in soybeans.
More on-farm research was one of DeJong’s extension goals. It also allowed the addition of Josh Sievers, an agricultural specialist who will divide his time working with the on-farm research project and helping with the operation of the Northwest Research and Demonstration Farms.
Sievers began his duties May 9. He is a 1998 graduate of Iowa State in agricultural systems technology and has experience with agricultural mechanization. Sievers was formerly employed by Almaco, a manufacturer of specialized agricultural research equipment based in Nevada, Iowa.