How to grow crops on a family farm in Iowa
An estimated 25 percent of the nation’s cropland could be grown on a one-acre plot of land in Iowa by 2050, according to a new study.
The researchers say it would be a significant shift for the agricultural industry in the state, where a growing number of farmers are struggling to stay competitive.
The research, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, finds that Iowa could be on track to achieve its goal of being one of the top five U.S. agricultural regions by 2050.
The researchers analyzed the potential of a variety of crops on Iowa’s two-acre farmlands in Iowa City and Des Moines.
The crops included potatoes, soybeans, wheat, cotton and soybeans.
The study found that more than 75 percent of all crops grown on Iowa farmlands could be commercially viable by 2050 if farmers adopted practices like improving soil quality, increasing yields and using a combination of technologies.
The majority of crops that could be planted on Iowa farms could be exported to other parts of the country, the researchers said.
“Our research is not the first to identify opportunities for Iowa farmers to become successful,” said Mark Schmid, director of the University of Iowa’s Center for Food, Agriculture and the Environment and a co-author of the study.
“This study gives farmers a framework to get started on that path.”
A farmer in Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture is working to create a program that would allow farmers to grow and sell their own food.
(Photo: Provided by the Iowa Department Of Agriculture)In Iowa, Iowa State University research associate professor of agricultural economics Chris Nesbit, a coauthor of a study last year that predicted a 25 percent increase in production potential from a one acre farm to an area of five acres by 2050 under a variety, says Iowa is a big player in this sector.
“We are a small, relatively small state, but we have a lot of talent and a lot to offer, especially in this field,” Nesbits said.
“We have some of the best soil management in the country.”
Nesbits noted that Iowa has had some success exporting wheat, and the state has a variety that is growing well in other parts, such as Colorado.
He also said he was impressed by the agricultural research done by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which recently released a report on Iowa farming.
The new study, which focuses on Iowa, was conducted by the U., I and K Agricultural Research Program, the USDA’s agricultural research agency, and Iowa State, the state’s agricultural department.
The USDA has been looking at the potential to export corn, soybean and wheat from Iowa to other states.
In 2014, the agency began a study to determine if Iowa could become a hub for the production of those crops, and in 2017, the Iowa Agricultural Research Commission awarded Iowa the first USDA contract to produce those crops.
Nesbit and his colleagues found that corn, wheat and soybean could be sold in Iowa, but the farmers there would have to develop their own systems to sell those crops to customers.
“This is not a new problem for Iowa.
In fact, the previous USDA report was done back in 2009,” said Nesits research associate at Iowa State.
“It’s something that has been there for some time.
I think it’s going to get better over time.”
To achieve their goal of having as many farmers as possible grow their own foods on Iowa land, Nesings researchers examined how they could use the state to grow other crops.
The USDA estimates that the state could produce about 1.6 million acres of agricultural land in 2020 if it followed a variety called “supercropping,” which would allow a farmer to grow corn, corn-based beans, wheat or soybeans in the same plot of farmland as the corn and soy.
The crop would then be exported.
A typical supercropping plot in Iowa could hold about 6,000 acres.
It would allow the farmer to export some of those fields to other regions, and then sell the rest of the field to other farmers.
The study estimated that if all Iowa farmers adopted these methods, the number of acres that could potentially be grown could be more than 2 million acres by 2020.
The team says Iowa could also have the ability to produce more corn, beans and soy than the state produces now, and could become the largest exporter of corn in the U, I. and K.
Nelson said Iowa is an obvious candidate for this, especially with the state experiencing a drought.
“The drought is happening, so the drought is probably making it a more attractive place for corn and beans,” Nelson said.
But Nesints researchers noted that while Iowa could grow corn and other crops in the area, it could also use the drought to expand its soybean crop.
“What this is showing is that you could use that drought as an opportunity to expand the size of your soybean production,” he said.
Nasits researchers also note that corn and the other