Virtual Field Days Provide Timely Updates from ISU Research Farms and Extension

Despite the cancellation of in-person events, producers will still get a research farm update

August 21, 2020, 1:39 pm | Mark Honeyman, Angela Rieck-Hinz

AMES, Iowa – The COVID 19 pandemic prevented Iowa State University from holding in-person field days at research and demonstration farms for the summer of 2020. However, the research continued, and a series of virtual tours beginning Aug. 31 will provide an update on this year’s results.

Five virtual field day tour stops are scheduled for Aug. 31 through Sept. 4, and each tour will last from 8-8:30 a.m. At least six different research farms across Iowa will be featured, with 20 minutes of in-field video, drone footage, and presentations by specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Following each presentation specialists will be available on the webinar to answer questions from attendees.

virtual field days.“Field days give farmers, ag businesses and the public a chance to see agricultural research projects in progress and talk with the researchers involved in the experiments,” said Mark Honeyman, associate dean in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and director of Iowa State University Research Farms. “Virtual field days are being held this year to keep all safe and still make the latest field research accessible to Iowa agriculture.”

Each year, about 15,000 people visit Iowa State’s research and demonstration farms, including 2,000 students who receive hands-on educational experiences.

"The research and demonstration farms represent the intersection of Iowa State’s primary missions of research, teaching and extension,” said Angie Rieck-Hinz, extension field agronomist for north central Iowa. “The virtual tours provide a unique opportunity to exhibit research across the farm system and take people into the plots with the researchers.”

This year’s field day activities were officially put on hold beginning April 1, due to safety concerns regarding COVID-19.

Speakers and topics

  • Aug. 31, Daniel J. Robison, holder of the Endowed Dean’s Chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State, opens the program. Honeyman and Tim Good, research farms manager, will provide an overview of the research farm system at Iowa state.
  • On Sept. 1, Matt Helmers, professor and extension agricultural engineer in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State, will discuss water quality monitoring and research.
  • On Sept. 2, Alison Robertson, professor and extension specialist in plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State, will discuss corn fungicide trials.
  • Sept. 3, Mahdi Al-Kaisi, professor and extension soil management specialist, and Angie Rieck-Hinz field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will give an overview of long-term tillage and crop rotation studies.
  • Sept. 4, Antonio Mallarino, professor and extension specialist in agronomy at Iowa State, will give an update on phosphorus and potassium placement and tillage studies.

Certified Crop Adviser credits are available during each virtual tour. There is no charge to attend, and a single online registration includes all five tour stops. Register in advance and be sure to test your technology prior to the start of the tour.

For more information, contact Angie Rieck-Hinz, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach at 515-231-2830, or


Original photo: Virtual field days.

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