Research and Demonstration:
Variety testing. Scientists conduct trials of advanced breeding lines and the newest cultivars of fruits, vegetables and ornamental crops.
Agronomic crops. Agronomic crops. Scientists are conducting soybean cyst nematode and Sudden Death Syndrome in soybeans testing with plans to expand this work.
Cultural methods. Scientists evaluate production strategies and methods for sustainability and environmental stewardship. Research areas include: efficient fertilizer use to protect groundwater and develop guidelines for plant tissue nutrient tests; using plastic mulches and row covers; irrigation management (both drip and overhead); earliness techniques for high-value vegetable; and organic crop production.
Pest control. Researchers evaluate new products and methods of controlling diseases, insects and weeds. Integrated pest management practices are explored to address food safety and environmental concerns. Weather data collection and insect-trapping provide information for scheduling spray applications for certain pests, such as corn earworm, corn borer and melon leaf blights.
The farm serves as an extension education hub for commercial growers. Field days or individual visits to the research farm provide clients with an opportunity to interact with Iowa State production specialists and observe recommendations being used in the field. Home demonstration gardens provide information to the public for home landscaping and gardens.