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ISU researchers use new way to measure nitrate in soil
A team of Iowa State University scientists have measured nitrate in soil with a unique infrared sensor system opening the possibility of determining the level of this vital nutrient in real time as fertilizer is being applied to fields.
“We were actually surprised that we could get in the parts per million range with the soil moving past the analyzer,” said John McClelland, a research scientist with the Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology and Ames Laboratory-U.S. Department of Energy.
The team used a technology, invented at Ames Laboratory, called transient infrared spectroscopy (TIRS) to measure nitrate in soil and then compared those values to ones obtained using traditional soil testing. TIRS works by measuring light emissions in the infrared spectrum after hot air is applied to the surface of the moving soil. The research was published in the journal Applied Spectroscopy.
The research team stressed that this was a preliminary study in the lab and many steps are necessary before a possible commercial tester could be available.
Open forums set for ISU Animal Science Department chair candidates
Open forums are scheduled for three finalists who have applied to be the next chair of the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University.
The three finalists and the dates of their open forums are:
• Mark McGuire, professor of lactation physiology at the University of Idaho, March 7
• James Reecy, professor of animal science at Iowa State University, March 11
• Andre-Denis Wright, professor of animal science at the University of Vermont, April 4
All the open forums are scheduled for 10 a.m. in Room 1204 Kildee Hall, and are open to the public. The finalists will discuss their leadership style and vision for the department.
Iowa ‘livestock farm inspection’ workshop to be held March 4 in Creston
Iowa farmers concerned about inspections of livestock farms can attend an informational workshop on Tuesday, March 4, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Allied Health and Science Center on the main Southwestern Community College (SWCC) campus in Creston, Iowa. This “DNR Regulations for Your Farm” workshop is free.
Speakers include Dan Olson with the Iowa DNR, CSIF’s Brian Waddingham, and Wayde Ross with NRCS. They will explain the work plan, resources available to help farmers and EQIP funding to help producers make necessary changes.