Agricultural Engineering/Agronomy and Central Iowa Research Farms
Agricultural Engineering and Agronomy Research Farms
1308 U Ave.
Boone, IA 50036
Agricultural Engineering: (515) 296-4081
Agronomy: (515) 296-4082
1,161 acres in the Ag Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm plus additional acres in nearby farms
Iowa State University — 565 acres • Committee For Agricultural Development, a nonprofit corporation organized in 1943, that works to increase and distribute seed of crop varieties developed by researchers at experiment stations in the North Central Region and the USDA. — 596 acres
This site was opened in 1964 when the Agricultural Engineering and Agronomy Farms were relocated from South State Avenue in Story County. The Iowa Crops and Soils Research Association, a group of Iowa agricultural leaders with on-campus leadership by Professor H.D. Hughes, was instrumental in acquiring the farmland.
These farms serve projects from the agricultural and biosystems engineering and agronomy departments. Projects from the entomology, biochemistry, genetics and plant pathology departments, and the USDA National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment also are served by these farms.
Terrain is gently sloping, broken by a rectangular gridwork of roads and fields. Much of the land is drained by tile and ditches because the land has poor natural drainage. Predominant soils are:
CLARION: 2 to 5 percent slope, very well drained, occurs on upland slopes;
NICOLLET: 1 to 3 percent slope, poorly drained, occurs between uplands and low areas;
WEBSTER: 0 to 3 percent slope, poorly drained, occurs on low-lying uplands.
Research and Demonstration
Crops. Extensive plant breeding and genetics work related to corn, soybeans and sorghum are conducted. Crop physiology, management, sustainable agriculture and crop rotations research also is conducted.
Soils and water quality. Researchers from Iowa State and the USDA National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment are actively conducting projects related to tillage, nutrient management, sedimentation, runoff, soil structure, drainage and movement of compounds through soil.
Power and machinery. Agricultural engineers perform research related to farm machinery, grain storage and handling and agricultural mechanization and electronics. Specific work has been done with anhydrous ammonia applicators, tillage tools, grain combines, planters, manure spreaders, tractors and grain bins and dryers. The farm is a popular site for product testing by farm magazines of commercial pickup trucks, utility vehicles and farm machinery.
The farm has extensive buildings with shops, offices, a meeting room, workrooms, equipment storage, threshing facility, dryers and seed cold storage. Two intensive sets of water quality plots have tile drainage sampling wells, flumes and wetlands.
Graduate and undergraduate students use the farm shop for machinery fabrication projects and building quarter-scale working tractors. The farm also has a building dedicated to studying livestock housing and manure.
The Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL) is a 43-acre teaching and demonstration facility that provides hands-on learning experiences for crop production professionals. Demonstration plots show a range of management problems, solutions and diagnostic challenges. Mistakes are intentionally made on these plots to enhance the learning experiences. Clinics are taught by ISU staff and faculty and invited specialists. Modern, air-conditioned classroom facilities are within walking distance of the demonstration plots.