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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENGAGING FARMERS IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF CORN VARIETIES FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1)Coordinate collaboration between farmers, and USDA-ARS and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute researchers to research, select, produce and test improved corn varieties for sustainable agriculture; 2)Organize farmer-to-farmer networking and educational opportunities through on-farm research, field days and yearly meetings; and 3)Provide farmer cooperators a platform to increase awareness and interest about the use of and the need for these corn varieties.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
PFI will interact with a team including USDA-ARS, ISU scientists, and MFAI. PFI will identify farmer cooperators in coordination with MFAI, who will work with technicians and researchers to prepare field test sites and begin selecting corn varieties on-farm. Researchers will train farmer cooperators in on-farm selection techniques and requirements for test-site preparation. PFI will organize a winter meeting specifically focused to update stakeholders of the project on breeding accomplishments, variety improvements, and tasks for the following year. PFI will organize summer field days to demonstrate the different varieties and have farmers present field research findings about variety comparisons. PFI will facilitate on-farm research from design to implementation to analysis of results. Additionally, PFI will continue to coordinate seed increases and feeding trials. We will work closely with ISU Animal Science department and local feed mills to formulate and test new diets using these corn varieties. All data will be consolidated, interpreted, summarized and published in PFI publications, on the PFI website, and in the media. Finally, PFI will create partial budgets of the production of this maize and the potential for feeding it to poultry.


3.Progress Report

The Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) arranged:.
1)three stakeholder meetings in: Chicago, IL 12/10/2009; Ames, IA 02/11/2010; and, LaCrosse, WI 02/27/2010;.
2)three field days to be held in: Mt. Vernon, IA 08/01/10; River Falls, WI 09/17/10; and, Ames, IA 09/23/10;.
3)skill building workshops to be held during pollination in Ames, IA July 2010 and a selection workshop in Ames, IA 08/01/10. Spring 2010, six yield trials, one strip trial and one inbred increase on-farm was established. The United States Testing Network (USTN) is an organization of organic producers and researchers who dedicate part of their land for testing corn lines. The number of location managers for USTN was improved from 26 in 2009 to 37 in 2010. Organizational development of USTN was also improved in 2010. A final summary of USTN results were prepared and provided to many stakeholders. Coordination of the USTN by the ARS and PFI continues to improve. We also continued to expand USTN locations across the U.S. We identified PFI farmers who want to begin inbred increases and they will be trained to improve inbred lines that feed into the in-state and out-of-state testing networks that are being established. Stakeholder meetings this past year focused on skill-building workshops for farmers, bridging the gap between breeder and seed retailer and advertising and outreach efforts to make farmers across the U.S. aware about the availability and yield potential of these products developed through our networks. Progress was monitored by frequent site visits, phone calls, and emails for joint planning, sharing results, and reporting results. Joint presentations are made at field days and farmer meetings.


Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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