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    Iowa Farmers Are Pursuing Actions in Response to Changing Weather

    Climate and agricultural scientists and other stakeholders are concerned that without major shifts away from degrading practices toward regenerative systems, long-term sustainability will be compromised.

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    New research shows farmers are interested in using extended rotations to improve soil health and manage pests and weeds

    The practice of adding small grains or forage crops to corn and soybean rotations has great potential to balance production and environmental goals, but adoption of these practices in Iowa and across the Midwest is low. 

  • The US Department of Energy announced that the City of Ames and 15 other municipalities across the country were selected for technical assistance grants within their “Waste-to-Energy” program. C-CHANGE team members Mark Mba Wright, Ali Kraber, and Lisa Schulte Moore are working with the City on this grant. 

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    Emerging Concepts in Biogas Digestion

    Learn more about emerging concepts in biogas digestion and on-farm biogas production in this Iowa Learning Farms webinar!

    The webinar was held on June 2, and the recording can be found here

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    Pollinating insects can help soybean yields

    A new study indicates that insects like honey bees in many cases can do a better job of pollinating soybeans than the plants can on their own.

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    Climate-friendly farming strategies can improve the land and generate income for farmers

    Farmers can help slow climate change by mixing native grasses into croplands, restoring wetlands and raising perennial crops. Seeding narrow strips of land within and around crop fields with native plants is an effective and affordable way to make farming more climate-friendly.

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    McDaniel Receives Early Career Achievement in Teaching Award

    C-CHANGE researcher, Marshall McDaniel is the recipient of the Early Achievement in Teaching Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in soil and plant growth and soil and plant relationships. McDaniel believes learning is best achieved through discovery and wants students to become comfortable with, and excited about, the same discovery process experienced by scientists.

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    New Research Identifies Four Farmer Types with Differing Perspectives on Soil and Water Conservation

    Although numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations have been working for decades on different outreach strategies to promote conservation practice use, adoption of key practices such as cover crops and no-till is not yet widespread enough to address resource concerns. This new study involving Iowa State University C-CHANGE researchers can more effectively guide conservation extension and outreach programs.

  • Crop Diversification can Improve Environmental Outcomes without Sacrificing Yields

    C-CHANGE team member Matt Liebman was part of an international research team that established through a meta-analysis that diversifying agricultural systems beyond a narrow selection of crops leads to a range of ecosystem improvements while also maintaining or improving yields.

  • C-CHANGE’s USDA NIFA grant is covered by Successful Farming

    Tom Richard, C-CHANGE researcher and professor of ag and biological engineering at Penn State explains, “The Northern Hemisphere of our planet has a lot of plants growing. In the summer and fall, they pull CO2 out of the atmosphere and overcome some fossil fuel emissions. But that alone is unfortunately not enough. A goal of C-CHANGE is to take advantage of photosynthesis and put it to better use.”

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    Advancing the Anaerobic Digestion Value Chain

    C-CHANGE has received a one-year grant from the Walton Family Foundation to advance an innovative value chain to address challenges facing U.S. Corn Belt. The value chain is based on the production of renewable natural gas (RNG) and associated bioproducts through the anaerobic digestion of herbaceous biomass combined with manure.

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    C-CHANGE Awarded Grant from USDA-NIFA

    C-CHANGE was awarded a $10 million Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture. The grant expands C-CHANGE beyond Iowa State University to a multi-institutional consortium that includes Penn State University, Roeslein Alternative Energy, FDCE Inc., and the USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment. The team will advance a new biobased value chain based on the production of renewable natural gas and associated bioproducts through the anaerobic digestion of diverse feedstocks.

  • Several C-CHANGE team members are among the winners of the 2020 SWCS awards from the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS).  Awards are presented annually to individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in advocating and advancing the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.

    C-CHANGE’s J. Arbuckle won two 2020 SWCS awards from the Social and Water Conservation Society.

  • C-CHANGE team member Emily Heaton was featured in Parade’s 2020 listing of the best Earth Day activities across America. Heaton is shown in her research field of Miscanthus giganteus being filmed by a crew from Iowa Interfaith Power and Light, producers of the  This American Land series.

  • Lisa Schulte Moore, C-CHANGE director, is the winner of the 2020 College of Business innovationENTREPRENEUR Award from innovationIOWA. Schulte Moore won the honor through her work on developing a novel and strategic system called Science-Based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips using the integration of prairie strips into a landscape defined by row crops of corn and beans. Learn more about the award

  • de Kok-Mercado Receives Outstanding New Professional Award

    Omar de Kok-Mercado, project coordinator for C-CHANGE and natural resource ecology and management, received the 2020 Professional and Scientific Outstanding New Professional Award from Iowa State University. De Kok-Mercado coordinates and communicates the activities of the Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips (STRIPS) as well as C-CHANGE.

  • Iowa State’s C-CHANGE to Host Conference on Exploring Opportunities in Biogas

    Iowa State University’s Consortium for Cultivating Human and Naturally reGenerative Enterprises (C-CHANGE) is hosting its inaugural Conference on Agriculture, Technology and Innovation virtually on October 19, 2020. Read the release at Iowa State’s Office of the Vice President for Research site or visit the conference web page for more information.

  • Iowa’s water quality strategy is not working. Here’s what should be done instead.

    In this article by Neil Hamilton, Matt Liebman, Silvia Secchi, Chris Jones, Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy has a solid scientific foundation, but it relies on farmer altruism. It’s clear this approach will require generations to produce measurable improvements.

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    ISU researchers pave the way to make prairie strips eligible option for federal conservation program

    U.S. farmers will be able to collect federal conservation payments for installing prairie strips on their land, and C-CHANGE-affiliated researchers from Iowa State University helped bridge the gap between the latest science and federal policy.

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