ISA aggregates the data collected from on-farm research to create tools to help farmers make more informed decisions.
Nitrogen Risk Calculator
This tool allows farmers and other users to conduct “what-if scenarios analysis” to estimate and illustrate the risk of corn nitrogen deficiency. Users select one or more management practices, specify a crop rotation, enter an N rate and click on a map of Iowa to choose a location. The tool employs multi-level statistical equations that combine historical geospatial spring (May through June) rainfall and corresponding late season corn nitrogen status from farmers’ fields with documented management practices to generate risk probabilities.
Click here to access the Nitrogen Risk Calculator
The On-Farm Network and Environmental Programs and Services have been conducting annual surveys of corn nitrogen status using late-season aerial imagery and corn stalk nitrate tests. When possible, the sampling locations are paired with water monitoring to maximize the benefits to farmers. The results from individual locations are available in the online database.
Within-Field Profitability Assessment
Through profitability mapping, producers can better understand the performance of their operation by pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses of each field. Using yield data, variable and fixed input costs, management information, weather data and commodity prices, farmers can identify which areas are the most and least profitable. Farmers can use this information to optimize profit by identifying alternatives for underperforming areas and maximizing profitable areas.
Various remote sensing tools such as crop and soil sensing, aerial, satellite and unmanned vehicle imagery are used in agronomic and environmental studies. These data and imagery help to quantify field management problems, guide soil and tissue sampling, diagnose plant nutrient status, facilitate environmental planning, and identify within-field areas affected by disease, weeds and pests.
Click here to access Remote Sensing
Guide to Replicated Strip Trials
The most recent publication of ISA’s On-Farm Network, this guide is designed to help farmers, agronomists, researchers and consultants interested in on-farm research. It provides practical information about how to set up on-farm replicated strip trials, collect quality data, summarize results and make management decisions.
Water Quality Lab
In 2011, ISA began analyzing water samples in its accredited water lab. The lab is certified by the EPA through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to analyze E. coli, nitrate, nitrite and fluoride under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Ion chromatography is used for the common nutrients of nitrate, nitrite and phosphate as well as fluoride, chloride and sulfate. E. coli bacteria are quantified using the IDEXX Quanti-Tray® most probable number method.
Other tests conducted in the lab as needed include turbidity (a measure of water clarity), alkalinity and hardness as well as ammonia nitrogen. The lab is routinely audited and uses third party proficiency testing to assure accurate operation. Tile water sampling results are sent to growers periodically, and stream and tile sample results are summarized and posted regularly.
SoilWeb is a quick and convenient way for accessing NRCS Soil Survey data. SoilWeb was developed by the California Soil Resource Lab at the University of California Davis and University of California-Agriculture and Natural Resources in collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
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