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Iowa State University debuts new corn Web site

Agriculture.com Staff 12/04/2006 @ 7:12am

Iowa State University Extension has launched a new Web site devoted to corn production. Although it is geared to Iowa corn growers, much of the information found at the new site will benefit farmers throughout the Corn Belt.

It was developed by Lori Abendroth, ISU Extension agronomy specialist, and Roger Elmore, Extension corn specialist.

"I think the website is an excellent tool for producers and agronomists across the state," says Abendroth. "Our goal is to provide current and relevant corn management information for our clientele, so they can make informed decisions."

Although most of the information was written by Elmore and Abendroth, there are articles from other corn-growing states.

One of the first sections, News, was light on content the first few days, as might be expected for a new site. However, the main section on Corn Production already has scores of links to research papers on various aspects of raising corn.

And it's well-organized. Click on the section called Corn Management and you will see seven categories listed. These divisions are based on whether a topic falls into an overall category or into a specific portion of the growing season.

Included in the overall categories are Growth and Development, Hybrid Selection/Genetics, and Cropping Systems and Rotations. These three general categories deal with broad topics that are not necessarily limited to a specific time period.

The growing season is divided into four categories: Planting, Early-Season, Mid/Late Season, and Harvesting. These categories are designed to address topics most important during those parts of the growing season.

Plus, all information regarding a certain topic will be contained within the specific page. This includes Extension publications, Extension newsletter articles, scientific papers, and 2006 research locations. For example, all information on the Web page regarding plant populations can be found under Planting.

In addition to the seven categories under Corn Management, there are also six other categories dealing with corn production. They are Tillage and Soil Fertility, Pest Management, Weather and Related Crop Response, Alternative Agriculture, End Uses of Corn, and Corn Production Economics and Statistics.

Plus, you can also use key words to search the Web site. There is also an Image Gallery of photos dealing with corn development.

Another section that should prove quite popular is the Resources page, which has links to ISU crops field specialists, other university corn Web sites, other university Extension newsletters, and federal organizations.

Perhaps the hottest topic in crop production right now is how to grow corn following corn. The new ISU site has a recent paper by Elmore entitled "Corn Following Corn: Potentials and Pitfalls." That paper includes references to other research on corn following corn.

Also available is a paper by Purdue agronomist Bob Nielsen entitled "Mitigate the Downside Risks of Corn Following Corn."

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