Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm
The research farm is located 1.2 miles west of Nashua on Highway B60. After taking the Nashua exit off of Highway 27 (218), go one mile south on gravel (Windfall Avenue), and 0.2 miles east on 290th Street.
Northeast Research Farm
3321 290th Street
Nashua, IA 50658
Northeast Iowa Agricultural Experimental Association
The association established the farm in 1976. In 2009, the Borlaug Learning Center building opened. It houses ISU Extension and Outreach and farm staff.
The land is nearly level to undulating with low swells rising gradually between intervening lowlands that drain poorly. Numerous soil types have formed in loamy material overlying glacial till. Predominant soils are:
1-2 percent slope, moderately well drained, occurs on ridges and swells
1-3 percent slope, somewhat poorly drained, occurs on lower slopes
0-2 percent slope, poorly drained, located in drainage ways
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.
In 2009, the Borlaug Learning Center opened with meeting rooms, offices and a small-business incubator. Other facilities include a heated shop, grain storage and a hoop barn for machinery storage.
The tiled plots are fitted with individual computerized groundwater sampling equipment for surface and subsurface water quality monitoring. Irrigation simulates rainfall intensity and timing for research studies looking at runoff and leaching of pesticides and fertilizer.