Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm
Nashua, Floyd County
Northeast Iowa Experimental Association
The farm was established by the association in 1976.
The land is nearly level to undulating with low swells rising gradually between intervening lowlands that drain poorly. Numerous soil types have formed in loamy material overlying glacial till. Predominant soils are:
Crops. Experiments focus mainly on corn and soybean production, such as planting dates, row spacings, plant populations and long-term tillage practices. Agronomists and plant breeders conduct breeding programs and variety evaluations on small grains, corn, soybeans and forages. Weed, insect and disease control strategies are studied and evaluated annually.
Horticultural Crops. Horticulturists conduct garden produce evaluations for yield potential and pest control. They use a demonstration garden to display new horticultural varieties and cultural practices that can be adopted by home gardeners.
Soils. Researchers study soil fertility and soil management systems. Agronomists study nutrient requirements of area crops and crop rotations, and evaluate fertilizer and lime rates and placement to observe crop yield response.
Water quality. Researchers from ISU and the USDA's National Soil Tilth Laboratory carry out extensive water quality testing based on timing, rate and placement of fertilizer, pesticide and animal manure applications. Field drainage tile lines and groundwater wells from more than 40 one-acre plots are monitored and sampled to determine the extent of chemical, nutrient and pesticide leaching. The farm is a regional site for USDA groundwater research.
The tiled plots are fitted with individual computerized groundwater sampling equipment for surface and subsurface water quality monitoring. Irrigation allows controlled intensity and timing of rainfall to occur for research studies looking at runoff and leaching of pesticides and fertilizer.