Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778
AGRICULTURE, VETERINARY MEDICINE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS FROM IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
AMES, Iowa --
PREDICTING SEVERITY OF CORN DISEASE IN IOWA FIELDS
Last winter, Iowa State University researchers predicted that Stewart's disease would be a significant problem in cornfields during 1998. They were right. The '98 growing season was one of the more troublesome for Stewart's disease in recent years. Stewart's disease can reduce yields, and many countries restrict imports of seed corn produced from fields where the disease has been detected.
ISU has been testing a computer model to forecast when Iowa fields would be at high risk for the disease. For the model, plant pathologist Forrest Nutter studied 26 years of data on the prevalence of the disease in Iowa seed-corn fields. Nutter will continue to fine-tune the model, but says seed companies could use the information to help decide where to plant, avoiding high-risk areas. "It also can help companies decide whether they need to apply insecticides to control flea beetles. And it should help them improve their management so they're only using chemicals when they're really needed, and only in high-risk areas," he said. Contact Nutter at (515) 294-8737 or Brian Meyer, Ag Information, (515) 294-0706.
NEW COURSE EXPLORES DISEASES, VETERINARY ROLE IN FISHERIES INDUSTRY
The ISU College of Veterinary Medicine has launched a new course to give veterinary students exposure to and training in aquatic medicine. The one-credit course in aquaculture medicine is offered in partnership with ISU's Department of Animal Ecology. Fish farming is growing in Iowa and throughout the U.S. Globally, fish production exceeds that of cattle, sheep, poultry or eggs, and it is the biggest source of wild or domestic protein in the world. However, the industry is in need of veterinary health professionals. With the rapid increase in production, intensive fish farming has led to many disease problems. Veterinarians with an emphasis in toxicology play an important role in addressing food safety issues related to the fisheries industry and aquatic species.
Veterinary instructors say production medicine concepts for livestock herds and poultry parallel fish farming concepts. Diseases, poor nutrition and husbandry practices lead to major losses in productivity. Increasingly, veterinarians are developing aquatic health programs that include application of new drugs and vaccines, improved reproduction methods such as cryopreserving semen, and other health management strategies that improve production. Contact Eldon Uhlenhopp, associate dean and aquatics course coordinator, College of Veterinary Medicine, 294-7600; Bruce Menzel, chair, animal ecology, 294-7419; or Phyllis Peters, College of Veterinary Medicine, 294-4602.
LECTURER SHARES DANISH EXPERIENCE IN PORK PRODUCTION, FOOD SAFETY
Iowa's pork industry may learn a few important lessons taken from slaughterhouses in Denmark. Brent Nielsen, D.V.M., Ph.D., of the Danish Federation of Slaughterhouses in Copenhagen, Denmark, will speak at noon Monday, Nov. 16, at ISU's College of Veterinary Medicine. Nielsen will present the 1998 NOBL Lecture in Swine Production Medicine. The public is invited to hear Nielsen's lecture, "Danish experiences and vision for food safety," in Room 2532 at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Contact Patrick Halbur, College of Veterinary Medicine, 294- 1137, or Phyllis Peters, College of Veterinary Medicine, 294- 4602.
AG THINK TANK TO REVIEW GOALS NOV. 18-19
A think tank made up of representatives from all sectors of Iowa agriculture will release its second annual report at a meeting Nov. 18-19. The Iowa AgState Group (Agricultural Strategic Thinkers Acting Together Effectively) was formed in the spring of 1997. Last year, the group developed strategic plans for the future of Iowa's agricultural industry. The group's 1998 report will highlight recent successes plus new recommendations for 1999. Attending the meeting will be members of the boards of directors of the 11 participating organizations. ISU's Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and the ISU agricultural economics department provide administrative support for Iowa AgState. The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Gateway Center in Ames, from 1 p.m., Nov. 18, to 1 p.m., Nov. 19. Contact Craig Hill, Iowa AgState, (515) 961-5286; Keith Heffernan, CARD, (515) 294-0670; or Susan Thompson, Ag Information, (515) 294-0705.
CHECK THE WEB: AG OFF-CAMPUS COURSES OFFERED IN SPRING
The College of Agriculture will offer 34 courses for spring semester for those who can't get to Ames. Enrollment is open to adults who want to keep up to date with changes in agriculture or can't attend classes on campus, as well as to students pursuing degrees. Courses are available over the World Wide Web, Iowa Communications Network or on videotape. Weed science, livestock nutrition, sustainable agriculture, agricultural economics and vegetable production are among the subjects to be covered. For example, Applied Agricultural Marketing provides market information and price forecasting techniques. It can be taken over the ICN or by videotape. Some courses include on- campus labs. For a listing of off-campus courses or registration information, check the Web at www.agde.iastate.edu or contact Richard Carter, coordinator, off-campus agriculture courses, (800) 747-4478.
STATEWIDE MEETING ON FARM MANAGEMENT IN VOLATILE TIMES
Low prices may impact one or two of Iowa's major farm commodities. But with this year's low market prices for corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle, Iowa farmers face special challenges. A daylong seminar on Dec. 17, entitled "Farm Management in Volatile Times," is designed to help farmers meet those challenges. ISU experts will conduct the seminar, broadcast to 19 sites on the Iowa Communications Network. The program runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In an afternoon workshop, participants will be divided into teams to work through a case study of a cash grain farm. An export update, price outlook, storage and marketing loan strategies and a briefing on new crop insurance alternatives for 1999 also will be covered. Contact Robert Wisner, economics, (515) 294-6310, or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0705.
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