Steve Jones, News Service (515)294-4778
AGRICULTURE, VETERINARY MEDICINE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS FROM IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
LIBERALIZATION OF CHINESE TRADE POLICIES SHOULD BENEFIT U.S. FARMERS
The results could be years away, but liberalization of Chinese trade policies may have a positive effect on United States farmers. Iowa State agricultural economist Dermot Hayes, in a paper on China's role in world markets, said the U.S. should experience a large and sustained growth in agricultural exports, and U.S. farmers should benefit from strong prices if China frees up its food and agricultural markets. He says Chinese incomes are expected to continue growing, creating a demand among the Chinese for more meat and other animal products in their diets. U.S. feed- grain exports will increase and eventually be replaced by meat exports. Hayes concludes that profits to feed-grain and meat producers will be good in the years when exports see the greatest expansion, but that these profits will not last indefinitely. Contact Hayes at (515) 294-6185, Frank Fuller, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, (515) 294-0470, or Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778.
ISU TO HELP ASIA-PACIFIC REGION DEAL WITH ANIMAL WASTES
ISU is part of a consortium of American universities that will help the Asia-Pacific region manage wastes from a rapidly growing livestock industry. "Taiwan produces almost as many pigs as Iowa, but on a much smaller land area," said Stewart Melvin, head of ISU's agricultural and biosystems engineering department. "Unlike Iowa, they don't have the land on which to apply wastes, so they need to look at new, advanced treatment methods to allow them to discharge wastewater into waterways." In late May, Melvin was in Taiwan for the groundbreaking of a new center for livestock waste management at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology. ISU and four other U.S. universities will collaborate with the center on training, evaluation of waste systems, and faculty and student exchanges. Results of the center's work will affect livestock operations in several countries including Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Contact Melvin at (515) 294-1434 or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294- 0706.
RESEARCHER TO HELP CREATE RESPONSE PLAN FOR NEW ANIMAL DISEASES
An Iowa State veterinary microbiologist is part of an effort to develop a national plan to combat new, emerging diseases in poultry and livestock. Donald Reynolds, a poultry researcher at ISU's Veterinary Medical Research Institute, said USDA response plans are in place to handle outbreaks of known diseases. However, if a new disease hits U.S. food animals, many questions must be answered before officials can attack the problem. Procedures on data collection, information dissemination, effects on the marketplace, and funding must be determined. "First, we must learn whether it is truly a new, emerging disease or just the result of management practices." Reynolds said. Scientists at ISU, Ohio State University, the University of Georgia and North Carolina State University, the lead institution, are using their study of Poult Enteritis and Mortality Syndrome, a costly intestinal disease in young turkeys, to build the response model. Although not a problem in Iowa, the disease has decimated flocks elsewhere. The USDA provided $450,000 from its Fund for Rural America, a national rural development program, for the project. Contact Reynolds at (515) 294-0914 or Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778.
ISU BUFFER-STRIP SITE TO BE GIVEN NATIONAL DESIGNATION
Since 1989, ISU researchers have shown streamside buffer strips are invaluable at stopping runoff from farm fields. Much of the work has been done on private farms along Bear Creek in Story County. The site hosts hundreds of visitors each year, and on June 16 it will be designated a "National Demonstration Site" by the USDA. A ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., news media are invited to visit the site and, with help from a boom truck, get a bird's-eye view of the nearly four miles of riparian buffers. ISU researchers, plus representatives of Trees Forever and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will be there to answer questions. To reach the site, take the Story City exit (number 124) off Interstate 35. Go east on E-15 three miles to where the blacktop ends. Continue east on gravel to the first farmstead on the left, where a sign in the front yard will mark the entrance to the site. Contact Mike Tidman, Trees Forever, (515) 331-7940; Tom Isenhart, (515) 294-8056, or Joe Colletti, (515) 294-4912, ISU Forestry; or Susan Thompson, Agricultural Information, (515) 294-0705.
EIGHTEEN COUNTIES NOW OFFER PLANT, BUG DIAGNOSIS VIA COMPUTER
Almost two years ago, ISU Extension began an initiative to use computer technology to more rapidly respond to Iowans' insect and plant questions. Today, 18 county extension offices have videoconferencing capabilities. Instead of mailing samples of troublesome bugs or ailing plants to Ames for identification and diagnosis, clients can send images by e-mail or real-time video. The images pop up on the computer screens of on-campus specialists in entomology, plant pathology, horticulture and agronomy. The campus experts have fielded about 120 requests for remote diagnoses so far this year. Contact Donald Lewis, Entomology, (515) 294-1102, Paula Flynn, Plant Pathology, (515) 294-0581, or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.
TEACHERS NEEDED FOR VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE PROGRAMS
A shortage of agricultural education teachers threatens to temporarily suspend some vocational agriculture programs at Iowa high schools. School districts in the state hired all of this year's available agricultural education and studies graduates from ISU, but 16 still need teachers, reported Robert Martin, head of the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies. The department had 17 graduates this May and eight took teaching jobs. Typically, half choose teaching positions and the rest take jobs in agribusiness. "If we had more students, I think the percentage going into teaching would stay the same, but we'd provide more teachers overall," Martin said. Industry and academic programs in other states also are sources of agriculture teachers, but some school systems may have to suspend agricultural education programs or hire short-term substitutes until a qualified instructor is found, he said. Contact Martin at (515) 294-5904 or Ed Adcock, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-2314.
TEACHING TEACHERS TO INCORPORATE AGRICULTURE INTO CLASSROOM
For the seventh year in a row, ISU is teaming up with the state's farm and commodity groups to teach Iowa elementary and middle school teachers ways to incorporate agricultural information into their classrooms. Thirty-five teachers will attend each of two sessions, June 15-17 and June 17-19, at the Iowa Cattlemen's Association headquarters in Ames. They will receive hands-on demonstrations of curriculum materials, tour a farm, visit the ISU Meats Lab and work in small groups to develop classroom activities. For more information about the Teacher's Academy on Agricultural Awareness, contact Robert Martin, Agricultural Education and Studies, (515) 294-0896, or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0705.
FROM CATTLE TO GOATS, 4-H ANIMAL SCIENCE ROUNDUP HAS IT ALL
More than 120 Iowa 4-H'ers will get hands-on experience with new technologies in livestock production, marketing, promotion and processing at the annual 4-H Animal Science Roundup, June 30-July 2, at ISU. The Roundup programs, taught by ISU Extension staff and animal science faculty, focus on beef cattle, swine, sheep, dairy cattle, dairy goats and horses. The Roundup is held in conjunction with the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference. Contact Beth Minner, 4-H Youth Development, (515) 294-8617, Brad Skaar, Animal Science, (515) 294-2242, or Melva Berkland, Extension Communications, (515) 294- 2164.
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