Impact of On-Farm Research in NW Iowa

Joel DeJong, Extension Field Agronomist, NW

Problem Statement

Research done on small plots by ISU faculty can make and have made a great impact on agricultural production in Iowa. However, crop producers sometimes are slow to adopt new practices discovered or confirmed by ISU researchers because they have not seen the results near their farm, and sometimes do not trust results from small plot research, thereby slowing the “technology transfer” to the farming operation.

Programmatic Response

ISU Extension, the Iowa Corn/Soybean Initiative, ISU Research and Demonstration farms and the NW Iowa Experimental Association partnered together to form the Northwest Iowa On-farm Research project which is now in its 5th year in Lyon, Sioux and Osceola Counties in the NW corner of Iowa. The goals of this project are to implement on-farm research projects that are beneficial to the cooperator and other NW Iowa farmers; to cooperate with producers to provide up-to-date research that affects their operation; and to provide unbiased, statistically analyzed data for farmers on compared production practices. We have had 28 different producers work cooperatively with us the past four years, and they have conducted over 130 replicated trials over that time. Some have been unique to one site; others have been repeated in several locations over several years. Some examples of projects include corn and soybean plant population comparisons, corn and soybean foliar fungicide trials, soybean seed treatments trials, corn and soybean trait comparisons, tillage system experiments, seed treatment trials, and planting speed evaluation. Results of trials from each of the previous years can be found on-line at the Northwest Iowa On-farm Research web page:

Outcome Statement

Information from these projects has been presented at several NW Iowa meetings over the last 3 years. At the NW Iowa “Crop Advantage Conferences” held last winter almost 200 attended sessions about these topics. Surveys to measure medium-term behavioral change conducted of these participants during those meetings indicated that 80% have reduced their soybean seeding rate in the last five years. 70% of the 160 survey respondents said they have used the data from the NW On-farm Research project to make management decisions, and additional 24% said they would in the future.


Crop Production & Protection - 100


Page last updated: October 26, 2009
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