Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778
AGRICULTURE, VETERINARY MEDICINE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS FROM IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
AMES, Iowa --
NEW PSEUDORABIES REGULATIONS NOW IN EFFECT
July 1 brought the first of several changes in Iowa's pseudorabies (PRV) regulations mandated by the Iowa Legislature. Approximately 720 herds will be affected by the new rules, which include monthly testing for all qualified PRV-negative herds and swine fertility centers in the state. Other changes take effect Jan. 1, 1999, but Iowa State University Extension veterinarians say producers shouldn't wait until December to begin making adaptations in their operations. Testing and removal clean-up begins at the first of the year, meaning if the prevalence of PRV in a group is high, this process will lead to a depopulation over the time from the first group farrowing to the last. In a batch system, this may make for uneconomical group sizes unless plans are made now for replacements. Contact Robert Nutsch, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, (515) 294-3947, or Sherry Hoyer, Extension Communications, (515) 294-5293.
ISU'S PUERTO RICO RESEARCH SEEKS SOYBEAN PARASITE RESISTANCE
Iowa State agronomist Silvia Cianzio is part of a national project aimed at finding new genes to control soybean cyst nematode, parasitic worms that attack the roots of developing soybean plants. Cianzio is working to identify new soybean cyst nematode resistance genes from soybeans found around the world. Tests on two recent soybean types, from Japan and China, suggest they are genetically different from current sources of resistance and may offer new resistance genes. Cianzio manages ISU's soybean breeding nursery in Isabela, Puerto Rico. Contact Cianzio at (787) 830- 2390, or Steve Hanson, Agronomy, (515) 294-2475.
JOBS DON'T ERASE POVERTY FOR IOWA'S WORKING POOR
More Iowans are moving from welfare to work, but many still struggle to support themselves and their families. Cynthia Needles Fletcher, professor of human development and family studies, examined Iowa's working poor and found that 148,000 Iowans, including 88,000 children, lived in working poor families in the mid-1990s. Another 41,000 households without children fit the working poor definition. Since 1995, Iowa's robust economy has increased numbers of full-time workers. However, because the greatest job growth has been in metropolitan areas and the majority of the working poor live in non-metro areas, it's likely that large numbers continue to face limited economic opportunities, Fletcher said. Contact Fletcher at (515) 294-8521, Terry Besser, Sociology, (515) 294-6508, or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.
DON'T NEGLECT SMALLEST FIRMS IN RURAL IOWA
The lifeblood of many rural communities is the businesses that employ just a few workers. To improve job quality in Iowa's small towns, more attention needs to be paid to these tiny companies, according to ISU sociologists. Half of Iowa's small-town businesses employ less than five workers, said Terry Besser, an ISU sociologist who conducted a survey of 820 employers in 30 Iowa small towns. "There is a certain cost-effective rationale to economic development efforts that pay more attention to businesses with the largest number of employees. However, the survey shows there is evidence for a more balanced strategy," she said. Contact Besser at (515) 294-6508 or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.
CHECK THE WEB: UPCOMING FORUM ON LIVESTOCK ISSUES
Details on an upcoming conference on livestock industry issues can be found on an ISU Web site. "Animal Production Systems and the Environment," to be held July 19-22 in Des Moines, will provide an international forum for communication among producers, scientists, policy-makers and communities. Researchers from around the world will present the most current understanding of issues related to nutrient management, odor control, water quality and socioeconomic topics. The conference Web page (http://www.ag.iastate.edu/agconf/) lists the 150 presentations, poster sessions and forums scheduled, and includes a registration form. Contact: Colin Scanes, College of Agriculture, (515) 294- 1823, Ramesh Kanwar, Experiment Station, (515) 294-3629, or Ed Adcock, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-2314.
RESEARCHERS WORK ON SOYBEANS' BEANY FLAVOR
Drinking soymilk triggers some rather unflattering adjectives from American taste testers: Grassy. Painty. Green. ISU researchers are toning down the flavor of soybeans so that soymilk, tofu and other soy foods suit more Americans' taste buds. Soybean breeder Walt Fehr has developed new soybeans without enzymes responsible for the beany taste, and ISU food scientists are evaluating the taste of foods produced from the new beans. Less beaniness may mean more business. "These new beans may open new markets for soy foods," said food scientist Cheryll Reitmeier. "If we make the flavor more appealing to Americans, they may be willing to try more soy products." Contact Walt Fehr, Agronomy, (515) 294-6865, Cheryll Reitmeier, Food Science and Human Nutrition, (515) 294-4325, or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.
50 YEARS OF SEED PRESERVATION
Fifty years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture established four regional sites to focus on maintaining the genetic diversity of crop plants and their wild relatives. The North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station in Ames now has more than 44,000 plant populations stored in humidity-controlled refrigerators and freezers, or growing on a 100-acre farm. The 1998 Plant Genetic Resource Management meeting, July 20-24 at the Gateway Holiday Inn Conference Center in Ames, will include a symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the plant introduction stations. Other anniversaries also will be observed, such as the 40th anniversary of the National Seed Storage Laboratory in Colorado and the centennial of the Plant Introduction Office in Maryland. Several regional and national committees involved in managing plant genetic resources will convene during the meeting. Contact Mark Widrlechner, acting research leader, (515) 294-3511, Dawn Johnson, USDA Agricultural Research Service Information, (309) 681-6534, or Susan Thompson, ISU Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0705.
ISU TECHNOLOGY TURNS SOYBEAN PROTEIN INTO PLASTIC
The list of potential plastic products made from soy protein is "endless," according to Roy Taylor, the founder of Soy Works LLC, a company that licensed ISU-patented technology to turn soybeans into plastic. Taylor estimated that within a year there could be products on the market made from the soybean-based plastics developed at Iowa State. ISU researcher Jay-lin Jane conducted seven years of research on soy plastics, creating what could be a large market for environment-friendly plastics. In the lab, she turned soy protein into the molded plastic products, such as disposable utensils, expandable foams, films and sheets. Contact Jay-lin Jane, Food Science and Human Nutrition, (515) 294-9892, Roy Taylor, Soy Works LLC, (630) 527-1005, or Ed Adcock, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-2314.
SOY CRUSHING INDUSTRY STUDY BEGINS WITH SURVEY
The nation's soybean crushing industry is becoming less centralized, which is creating new opportunities for small companies in local communities. A new ISU research project to identify and evaluate these opportunities is under way. Traditional soybean plants use a hexane solvent to process beans. This method requires high capital investments, large quantities of seed and high energy demands. Mini-mills use a newly developed extrusion-expelling technology that is less expensive and works well on a smaller scale. "The goal is to fully characterize oils and meals produced by the new mini-mills and to develop low-cost techniques for the mills to add value to oil and meal," says Larry Johnson. Contact Larry Johnson, Center for Crops Utilization Research, (515) 294-4365, or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0705.
20 YEARS OF SAUSAGE SAVVY: THE BEST OF TIMES, THE WURST OF TIMES
When it comes to the latest in sausage casings, ISU is on the case. Keeping sausage and processed meats production on the cutting edge is the aim of ISU's annual short course, to be held July 20-24. This is the 20th year for the course. Since 1979, more than 1,600 employees in meat processing and related industries have learned about innovative methods for making sausage, ham, bacon, roast beef and other processed meats. This year, 80 are coming from 18 states and seven countries. Using ISU's facilities, they'll work in teams to formulate and process products. They'll try new ways to change the texture of meats, or enhance products through different ingredients. On the final evening, the participants hold a "wurstfest" to sample the products they've developed. Contact Joe Cordray, Animal Science, (515) 294-4266, or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.
WORKSHOP ON SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
An estimated 40 farmers, ag researchers and educators will converge in Ames July 13-15 as part of a regional workshop sponsored by USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) professional development program. The training sessions focus on watershed management and agriculture and will feature a tour to the Bear Creek watershed, site of a nationally recognized streamside restoration project. Numerous ISU researchers will be presenting. Contact Heidi Carter, Education Coordinator, SARE, (402) 472-0917, or E. Anne Larson, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, (515) 294-0626.
ISU COORDINATES NATIONAL AG GLOBALIZATION WORKSHOPS
ISU's College of Agriculture is coordinating five national workshops on new approaches for globalizing agricultural research, extension and teaching programs. A north central regional workshop will be held July 14-15 in Minneapolis. At that meeting, 70 faculty and administrators from 18 institutions will discuss future programs with farmers, agribusiness representatives and students. Seven from ISU will attend, including Dean David Topel and Associate Dean Eric Hoiberg. Two other workshops have been held in Texas and Utah, and two more will held later this summer in Georgia and New York. ISU is organizing the workshops with support from a USDA grant. Contact David Acker, International Agriculture Programs, (515) 294-8454, or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.
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