Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778
AGRICULTURE, VETERINARY MEDICINE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS FROM IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
AMES, Iowa --
IOWA DNR FOCUSES ON RECYCLED WOOD
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has identified Iowa State's Center for Crops Utilization Research (CCUR) biocomposites research as one way to create a value-added material from waste. Currently, waste wood from storms, yard trimmings or milling operations is openly burned, contributing to air pollution, or goes into a landfill. Recognizing its potential as an undervalued raw material is the first step in creating a commodity that could generate a financial return for state or municipal governments.
CCUR biocomposite research is examining how recycled wood fiber, alone and in conjunction with other fibers, can be used in composite wood products. One potential fiber source is switchgrass, traditionally used as a cover grass on conservation reserve lands. Tree plantings, such as fast-growing poplar and alder hybrids, also can be managed for biomass or fiber production. Based on soil type, switchgrass or woodgrass mixed with recycled wood can make a good composite material in southern Iowa; corn-stover (stalks, cobs) and recycled wood can make a good composite material in northern and central Iowa. Contact CCUR researchers Deland Myers, (515) 294-5216, Monlin Kuo, (515) 294-1225, or Daniel Curry, (515) 294-1938, or contact Dan Burden, (515) 294-2342.
CHECK THE WEB: DAILY GOVERNMENT AG LOAN PROGRAM INFORMATION
The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) is tracking and calculating the day-to-day fluctuation in the Loan Deficiency Payments (LDP) for corn and soybeans. These payments constitute one of the marketing options available to farmers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture under provisions of the 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act. The daily LDP information can be accessed now at www.card.iastate.edu .
Throughout the harvest and storage period ending May 31, 1999, knowledge of the Cornbelt Loan Deficiency Payments, as well as the county-specific loan rate, will be an important tool that growers can use to more effectively market their crops, according to ISU economists. Low corn and soybean prices have placed more emphasis on the government price-support programs. With the loan program or LDP, the farmer can either request a loan at the county's given loan rate, or collect the LDP, which pays the difference between posted county prices and the county's loan rate on any given day. Contact CARD researchers Chad Hart, (515) 294-6307, Dermot J. Hayes, (515) 294-6185 or Bruce A. Babcock, (515) 294-5764, or contact Judith Pim, (515) 294-6257.
ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS MAY REDUCE BACTERIA RISK ON APPLES
Apples growers must abide by new FDA rules to produce and sell unpasteurized cider. ISU food scientist Bonnie Glatz said most Iowa apple growers don't pasteurize their cider. Because of the new regulations, many may be forced out of the cider business, she said. Glatz is researching post-harvest apple treatments that may reduce the risks from E. coli and other bacteria. In one study, apples are washed in water containing chlorine before they are put through the cider press. "If we can find an effective, practical way to rid apples of these organisms without pasteurization, we may help the traditional apple farmer," Glatz said. Contact Glatz, Food Science and Human Nutrition, (515) 294- 3970, or Dana Dempsey, Agriculture Information, (515) 294- 2957.
UKRAINE CONFERENCE EVALUATES EDUCATIONAL PROJECT
Accomplishments of a four-year educational project between ISU and the National Agricultural University of Ukraine (NAUU) were outlined at an international conference in Kiev Sept. 28-30. ISU President Martin Jischke led an ISU delegation to the event, which attracted university and government officials from more than 30 countries. The centerpiece of the project was the creation of a new educational plan at NAUU, which may be used as a model in other countries. Since 1994, 23 Iowa State and 39 NAUU faculty and staff have participated. Contact David Acker, International Agriculture programs, (515) 294-8454, or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0705.
WORLD FOOD PRIZE AWARD EVENTS IN DES MOINES OCT. 15- 16
The 1998 World Food Prize recipient will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 13, in Washington, D.C. The $250,000 prize, endowed by Des Moines businessman John Ruan, is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of those who have significantly improved the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Iowa State's College of Agriculture is secretariat for the prize.
On Thursday, Oct. 15, the award ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. in the Des Moines Civic Center. The ceremony, which is open to the public, will feature the acceptance speech by the prize laureate, remarks by Nobel Prize winner Norman E. Borlaug and a performance by internationally known Indian singer Vani Jairam. On Friday, Oct. 16, the World Food Prize Symposium will focus on food security for the growing urban populations of the world. The symposium, beginning at 8:15 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m., will be held in the Des Moines Marriott Hotel. Contact the World Food Prize Foundation, (515) 245-3783, Judith Pim, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, (515) 294-1183, or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706. The World Food Prize web site can be found at www.wfpf.org .
FORUM FOR SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE CANDIDATES SET AT ISU
In January, Iowans will have a new secretary of agriculture for the first time in 12 years. On Oct. 20, a forum on the Iowa State campus will give candidates Dan Brown and Patty Judge a chance to share their plans for the office. The candidates will make opening and closing remarks, and take questions from the audience. The event, which is sponsored by ISU's Collegiate Farm Bureau Club, begins at 7 p.m. in Room 175 of the Scheman Building. Reporters and the public are invited. Contact Brad James, Collegiate Farm Bureau Club president, (515) 292-3880 ext. 5304, or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Information, (515) 294- 0705.
UPCOMING DEDICATION OF NEW ANIMAL SCIENCE FACILITIES
An addition to Iowa State's animal science facilities will be dedicated on Saturday, Nov. 7. The two-year construction and renovation project has expanded and modernized animal science classrooms, laboratories and offices in Kildee Hall and the Meats Laboratory. The $18 million project was funded by the Iowa Legislature and private gifts.
A week earlier, Oct. 31, a conference room in the new addition will be dedicated in the memory of M.E. "Gene" Ensminger, a noted animal scientist and educator who died in July. Ensminger, who received an honorary degree from Iowa State, worked with ISU animal scientists and others to conduct agricultural technology schools in several countries. Contact Dennis Marple, Animal Science, (515) 294-2160, or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.
PORK PRODUCTION COMPUTER MODEL AVAILABLE
In response to concerns about general economic conditions on the farm, TEAMPork (Total Economic Animal Management) and the Iowa Pork Industry Center have put together an action model for pork producers. Using the MCS-9 (finishing feeder pigs) software program, current costs of early wean or feeder pigs available through Agricultural Marketing Service or local producers, and lock-in prices for feed and marketing, producers can look at different scenarios for their operations. Based on current low feed costs and feeder pig prices, it appears there is an opportunity for producers to turn a profit, even if it involves making some changes to facilities. This model is a way to consider whether beginning or adding to a feeder pig operation is feasible. Contact Bob Lyon, Iowa Pork Industry Center, (800) 808- 7675, or Sherry Hoyer, IPIC, (515) 294-4103.
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