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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

Iowa State U links with Monsanto on water quality initiative

By David Schwartz
Published: June 12th, 2018

Iowa State University’s Department of Agronomy is joining forces with Monsanto Company in a partnership around an infrastructure project designed to monitor water quality and downstream nitrate loss. The project will provide researchers with valuable information on management practices that help keep nitrogen fertilizer from entering surrounding waterways.

Monsanto and its subsidiary The Climate Corporation are putting up more than $300,000 to fund the initial installation, which features a system of drainage tiles and water monitoring equipment on 30 acres of ISU research plots. The installation will be owned and operated by ISU.

Adding nitrogen to fertilizer is a common practice in crop management, but climactic conditions such as heavy rainfall and temperature changes, combined with the natural soil processes can result in situations where nitrogen seeps into nearby waterways. The ISU research will produce water samples, flow information, and weather data against a backdrop of different farming application practices and nitrogen use in order to better understand which practices can reduce nitrate runoff.

“We are fortunate to partner with Iowa State University on agricultural research that advances innovation to solve challenges like water quality,” said Sam Eathington, chief science officer of Monsanto and The Climate Corporation. “Insights from this research will help stakeholders across the industry better understand how modern agriculture practices and technologies drive productivity, optimize the use of key inputs, and deliver sustainability benefits on the farm.”

Source: Hoosier Ag Today

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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