AGRICULTURE, VETERINARY MEDICINE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS
FROM IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
WEB SITE UPDATES INFORMATION ON PSEUDORABIES
The Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) has created a special section on its Web site to focus on pseudorabies (PRV) information. It includes legislation explanations from state veterinarian John Schiltz and a Q-and-A with James McKean, ISU Extension swine veterinarian and IPIC associate director, a schedule of PRV meetings and a list of Iowa district veterinarians. Pages are updated when new or expanded information becomes available. IPIC works with the state 4-H office to include dates and details specific to 4-H swine programs and county fair shows. The pseudorabies information site is accessible through the IPIC Web site at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ipic. Contact McKean, (515) 294-8792, or Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Pork Industry Center, (515) 294-4496.
ECONOMIST WILL HELP REVIEW CORPS' RIVER STUDY
ISU economist C. Phillip Baumel will serve on a National Research Council committee to review a controversial U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study on improving barge traffic on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers. The $50 million study has made headlines alleging its results are biased and its recommendations are too costly and potentially damaging to the environment. The 11-member committee will examine economic and environmental impacts of the proposal, which would expand the rivers' lock-and-dam system. Baumel says the group's work should lead to improvements in future proposals of inland waterway navigation projects. The committee's first meeting is June 19-21 in Washington, D.C. Contact Baumel, (515) 294-6263, or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Communications, (515) 294-0705.
STRAWBERRY GROWERS SEE RED WHEN BERRIES TURN BROWN
June is Strawberry Month, a busy time of year for strawberry growers and strawberry researchers. Iowa State scientists are working on improved treatments for anthracnose, a fungal disease that causes brown spots on berries. The fungus, which flourishes in warm wet weather, can devastate yields. Research at the ISU Horticulture Farm focuses on which low-risk fungicides and biological controls help to control the disease. In lab experiments, researchers found the fungus is active when there isn't fruit in the field, and it does spread. Contact Gail Nonnecke, Horticulture, (515) 294-0037; Mark Gleason, Plant Pathology, (515) 294-0579; or Melea Reicks Licht, Agriculture Communications, (515) 294-2957.
ISU BIOCOMPOSITE RESEARCHERS FIND NEW USE FOR MANURE
When Deland Myers looks at a cow, he doesn't see meat or milk. He sees animal processed fiber. Converting animal processed fiber (a.k.a. manure) into composite boards is the most recent project of the Iowa State cereal technologist and his colleagues in the ISU Biocomposites Research Group. The group develops composite wood and agricultural fiber-based products made with fiber and adhesive from Iowa crops. To these researchers, manure is just another source of fiber, no different than cornstalk or switchgrass. Myers and Monlin Kuo, associate professor of forestry, have successfully manufactured and tested the manure board. "I don't know if you'll ever see a 100 percent manure board," Myers said. "But, in my opinion, animal processed fiber could be used as a supplement to other fiber that is going into a fiberboard." The ultimate goal is to add value to what farmers grow in this state, Myers said. Contact Myers, (515) 294-5216; Kuo, (515) 294-1225; or Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778.
CONSORTIUM WILL ADVANCE BIOBASED INDUSTRY IN THE MIDWEST
Scientists from six institutions, including Iowa State and the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory at ISU, have formed a consortium that will conduct research and technology transfer on biobased products and energy. "The goal of the Midwest Consortium for Sustainable Biobased Products and Bioenergy is to develop a new chemical industry in the Midwest based on agricultural feedstocks and biotechnology," said Colin Scanes, interim director of Iowa State's Plant Sciences Institute. Other members of the consortium are Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Michigan State University, East Lansing; and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. Scientists from ISU's Plant Sciences Institute and the Agricultural Experiment Station will participate. Most fuels and chemicals used today could be made from plants rather than from non-renewable petroleum sources, Scanes said. Contact Scanes, (515) 294-5267, or Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778.
NEW PUBLICATION EXAMINES IOWA'S LAND AND ENVIRONMENT
Iowa's landscape is changing. The challenge is to protect and enhance Iowa's natural resources, while allowing the state's economy to grow and its farmers and rural communities to remain competitive. "Iowa's Land and Environment Serving Competing Needs," a new 40-page publication written by Iowa State economists, contains information and perspectives on Iowa's landscape. The publication was released at a series of meetings, June 13-16. It includes a history of Iowa land use and conservation; information on land ownership, valuation and taxation; and results of public surveys on wetland use and types of recreational opportunities preferred by Iowans. Contact John Miranowski, Economics, (515) 294-6741; C. Phillip Baumel, Economics, (515) 294-6263; or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Communications, (515) 294-0705.
PORK INDUSTRY HANDBOOK AVAILABLE IN CD-ROM
The Pork Industry Handbook is now available on CD-ROM. This comprehensive guide contains 138 fact sheets on all facets of pork production presented in an easy-to- navigate, visual format. As with the traditional hard copy format, the CD-ROM is ordered on a three-year subscription that includes regular updates. The current subscription period is July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2002. Cost is $50 for U.S. addresses and $70 outside the U.S. For an order form, contact local ISU Extension offices or the Extension Distribution Center, 119 Printing and Publications Building, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011-3171. Contact Palmer Holden, ISU Swine Extension, (515) 294-2240, or Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Pork Industry Center, (515) 294-4496.
THE SUBJECT IS TURFGRASS AT JULY 13 FIELD DAY
About 550 people are expected to attend an ISU turfgrass field day on July 13. The event, sponsored by Iowa State's horticulture department and the Iowa Turfgrass Institute, will attract golf course superintendents, athletic field managers, lawn care and sod company representatives and suppliers of equipment and products. The program will include information about new research on turfgrass varieties for the Midwest, weed and disease control, seed establishment and landscape plant selection and care. The field day will be held at the ISU Horticulture Farm, which is four miles north of Ames on U.S. Highway 69, then one and one-half miles east on county road E-23. Tours begin at 9:30 a.m. Informational sessions, demonstrations and continuing education courses fill the afternoon. Contact Nick Christians, Horticulture, (515) 294-0036; David Minner, Horticulture, (515) 294-5726; Lori Westrum, Iowa Turfgrass Institute, (515) 232-8222; or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Communications, (515) 294-0705.
LINKING STUDENTS AND BIOTECHNOLOGY COMPANIES
Hundreds of Iowa State students in science and agriculture majors are interested in learning about the potential for careers in biotechnology fields. Iowa companies can meet with ISU students during the second annual Biotechnology Career Day Oct. 26 at Iowa State. The all-day event enables Iowa employers to discuss their job opportunities with young scientists and professionals. Last year's career day drew 12 companies and more than 400 undergraduate and graduate students studying in biotechnology-related fields. The event is sponsored by the ISU Office of Biotechnology and the Iowa Biotechnology Association. Companies interested in participating in this year's career day can pre-register by Aug. 1 by contacting the Office of Biotechnology. Contact Dena Huisman, Biotechnology, (515) 294-7356.
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