The Corn and Soybean Initiative is a new effort at Iowa State University to better serve the needs of Iowa's number-one-in-the-nation corn and soybean growers.
"Iowa has the best crop producers in the country and they just keep getting better," said Greg Tylka, coordinator of the initiative and a professor of plant pathology. "Iowa State's Corn and Soybean Initiative will work to make sure that trend continues by providing a central access point for research-based production information and education. The Corn and Soybean Initiative will help integrate Iowa State's applied research and extension programs and expertise in corn and soybean production with a goal of increasing Iowa growers' productivity and global competitiveness."
Extension education and production research are two main emphases of the initiative. Growers and related industries will be encouraged to provide input, so future research can address areas impacting corn and soybean production. The initiative will work closely with Iowa State University faculty and staff in agricultural and biosystems engineering, agronomy, economics, entomology, and plant pathology as well as Iowa State University Extension field crop specialists across the state. Currently, organizations that will partner with the Corn and Soybean Initiative to better serve growers include the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Iowa Corn Growers Association and Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Soybean Promotion Board, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Farmer Today and Wallaces Farmer, and several agricultural retail businesses.
Craig Lang, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, said, "Iowa corn and soybean growers make huge contributions to Iowa's economy. ISU's Corn and Soybean Initiative will help provide growers with information and education to enhance this $7 billion annual impact."
"The new initiative will be Iowa State's front door for crop production information that growers need to continue to improve their yields and profits," said David Wright, director of production technologies for the Iowa Soybean Association.
"Iowa retailers have long valued Iowa State University as a source of information," said Hov Tinsman of Twin-State, Inc., Davenport, who serves as president of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, which represents more than 1,200 agribusinesses in the state. "This new initiative will reinforce the relationship between ISU, retailers, and growers."
Strengthening the delivery of crop production information to growers, including through existing relationships with agribusinesses, is a key part of the initiative, said Tylka. "For years, Iowa State has been very effective in reaching more growers through train-the-trainer educational programs focused on agribusinesses. We provide agribusinesses with expertise and science-based production information, which they then pass on to the growers they serve. This public-private partnership has been extremely successful and efficient, and together we've greatly multiplied ISU's impact and reach. We hope our partnerships with agribusinesses, retailers, commodity organizations, farm media, and others will lead to innovative ways to leverage our resources to benefit crop agriculture in Iowa."
This article originally appeared on pages 135-136 of the IC-492(23) -- December 6, 2004 issue.