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Loss of habitat containing milkweed plants is considered a leading cause of the precipitous decline in monarch butterfly populations over the past 20 years. Iowa, in the center of the monarch’s summer breeding range, has a goal to establish hundreds of millions of new milkweed stems across 480,000 to 830,000 acres, by 2038.
A new technology for cleansing nutrients from water leaving Iowa’s tile-drained fields began with two Iowa State University researchers brainstorming after a professional meeting. Their “back of the napkin” discussion in 2010 led to development of saturated riparian buffers, a new conservation practice that is rapidly gaining interest in Iowa and far beyond.
Michelle Soupir, an associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State, is one of the country’s leading researchers studying bioreactors and how to make them effective and practical. Her bioreactor research is unlike any other in the world.
Some blame farming practices, in particular, the intensive corn and soybean production systems in the Midwest for the tough times honey bees are facing. New research by Iowa State University and University of Illinois scientists offers a more nuanced view of the role of agriculture in honey bee health than what has been previously known.