Research and Demonstration:
Crops. Experiments focus mainly on corn and soybean production, such as planting dates, row spacing, plant populations and long-term tillage. Agronomists and plant breeders conduct breeding programs and variety evaluations on small grains, corn, soybeans and forages. Weed, insect and disease control strategies are studied and evaluated annually.
Horticultural crops. Horticulturists conduct garden produce evaluations for yield potential and pest control. They use a demonstration garden to display new horticultural varieties and cultural practices that can be adopted by home gardeners.
Soils. Researchers study soil fertility and soil management systems. Agronomists study nutrient requirements of area crops and crop rotations, and evaluate fertilizer and lime rates and placement to observe crop yield response.
Water quality. Researchers from ISU and the USDA’s National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment carry out extensive water-quality testing based on timing, rate and placement of fertilizer, pesticide and animal manure applications. Field drainage tile lines and groundwater wells from 40 one-acre plots are monitored and sampled to determine the extent of chemical, nutrient and pesticide leaching. The farm is a regional site for USDA groundwater research.