Ernst hears value of ISU research

Source: Kalona News

While Congress was on break, Sen. Joni Ernst visited with farmers and researchers at the Iowa State University Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm in Crawfordsville on Tuesday, April 3.

Ernst heard comments on the necessity of funding the type of work and research done at the ISU farm.

Sotirios Archontoulis, assistant professor of agronomy, gave a rundown on his work in groundwater and drainage.

“Overall, our goal is to increase productivity, profitability and environmental sustainability,” Archontoulis said. “We want to provide more information to more farmers in Iowa.”

Greg Brenneman, agricultural engineering specialist, explained that the data is used to educate farmers around the state.

“We have learned a lot from this and have been able to draw that information into some of the recommendations on spacing, depth and drainage of water,” Brenneman said.  

Funding, however, is always an issue, agronomy department chair Kendall Lamkey said.

“Getting the funding for the kind of research that Greg and Sotirios talked about is really difficult,” Lamkey said.

Board member Jim Campbell, who farms near Hedrick, said that research done by ISU was crucial to him when he started farming in 1980.

“The only information I could get out of people who supplied me was I needed to put more fertilizer on,” Campbell said. “It wasn’t until I started attending some ag classes at Iowa State, where they told me ‘You need to tile.’ It changed the trajectory of my farm operation.”