Iowa State University
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Muscatine Island Research and Demonstration Farm

Muscatine Island 75th Anniversary Celebration June 29, 2010
Download the Book (PDF)



Muscatine County

Directions: From Highway 61/92, turn east at G38/North Street. The farm is on the south side of the road.

Muscatine Island Research Farm
PO Box 40
111 North Street
Fruitland, IA 52749

(563) 262-8787

click here for a map view


106 acres


Muscatine Island Research Farm Association


Harvesting muskmelons at the Muscatine Island Farm. Muscatine is known for muskmelons. The sandy soil is conducive to melon culture.


The research farm was founded in 1935 on 63 acres leased from the Rock Island Railroad. In 1983, the association purchased 40 acres of this original tract and an additional 66 acres were added in 2002.


Predominant soil is Fruitland coarse sand with less than 5 percent slope, is welldrained and has an organic matter content of less than 3 percent.

Research and Demonstration

Variety testing. Scientists conduct trials of advanced breeding lines and the newest cultivars of fruits, vegetables and ornamental crops.

Organic crops. Scientists are conducting soybean SCN variety testing with plans to continue with soybeans and field corn.


Commercial harvesting of edible green beans at the Muscatine Island Farm.

Cultural methods. Scientists evaluate production strategies and methods for sustainability and environmental stewardship. Research areas include: efficient fertilizer use to protect groundwater and develop guidelines for plant tissue nutrient tests; using plastic mulches and row covers; irrigation management (both drip and overhead); earliness techniques for high-value vegetable; and organic crop production.

Pest control. Researchers evaluate new products and methods of controlling diseases, insects and weeds. Integrated pest management practices are explored to address food safety and environmental concerns. Weather data collection and insect-trapping provide information for scheduling spray applications for certain pests, such as corn earworm, corn borer and melon leaf blights.

The farm serves as an extension education hub for commercial growers. Field days or individual visits to the research farm provide clients with an opportunity to interact with Iowa State production specialists and observe recommendations being used in the field. Home demonstration gardens provide information to the public for home landscaping and gardens.