The Long-Term Agroecological Research (LTAR) experiment at the ISU Neely-Kinyon Research and Demonstration Farm near Greenfield, Iowa, was set up in 1998, the capstone of the Organic Ag program at Iowa State University. It is one of the longest running comparisons of organic and conventional crops in the country.
The Leopold Center has supported the LTAR project since it began. The Center's investment has been multiplied four-fold as leveraged funding to obtain additional grants from other agencies and the organic industry. During the LTAR project's first dozen years, Leopold Center support resulted in 32 peer-reviewed publications, nine ISU Extension publications, 31 workshops, 65 field days and work by 20 international visiting scientists. Research continues with competitive grant funding from the Leopold Center and other sources.
The goals of the LTAR Team:
To examine the agronomic, economic and environmental performance of conventional and organic systems, using certified organic production practices, including:
- Soil and water quality
- Energy use
- Yields and economic returns
- Weed management
LTAR is a randomized, replicated comparison of the following rotations:
- Conventional corn-soybean (2 year)
- Organic corn-soybean-oats/alfalfa (3 year)
- Organic corn-soybean-oats/alfalfa-alfalfa (4 year)
- Organic soybean-wheat/red clover (2 year)
- Funding Impact Brief: Long-Term Agroecological Research
- August 2015 report from ongoing research shared at the Neely-Kinyon Field Day [PDF]
- Long-Term Agroecological Research (LTAR) Experiment brochure
- Economic Analysis of Three Iowa Rotations (2008)
- Leopold Center Organic Agriculture webpage
- ISU Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture
- Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Organic Certification Program
Related grant projects
- Linking soil and water quality with crop performance across a continuum of tillage and management strategies, Years 2 and 3 (XP2015-03)
- The Long-Term Agroecological Research (LTAR) Experiment: Ecological benefits of organic crop rotations in terms of crop yields, soil quality, economic performance and potential global climate change mitigation (XP2011-02)
For more information, contact Kathleen Delate, ISU Horticulture/Agronomy, firstname.lastname@example.org, (515) 294-7069.