Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Pubs & Papers

Research can take many forms and lead to many different outcomes. The ultimate goal is sustainability – for the landscape, Iowa’s people and natural resources. Below is a list of intermediate outcomes of Leopold Center-supported projects, partnerships and activities. Included are extension publications, in-house research projects, informative presentations and other reports – all with some link to the Leopold Center.

All Pubs & Papers are PDFs, which require a free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click on the image or title to view the PDF.

Leopold Center Document These materials were written, reviewed or presented by Leopold Center staff. All other materials are related or based on projects supported by the Leopold Center.

Pub & Papers here are sorted by date with the newest at the top. You can filter the list by selecting a topic area below and clicking "Apply." To see all again you can select "<Any>" as the topic, or click here. There is also an alphabetical listing available.

This directory lists 75 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) enterprises in Iowa, shown by county and the 20 regions within  ISU Extension and Outreach. The directory will be updated annually; to provide additions and modifications, please visit www.leopold.iastate.edu/csa. This publication also can be found at the ISU Extension Online Store.

April 2014
Leopold Center Document Iowa CSA Farms
Leopold Center and ISU Extension and Outreach PM 1693

This is an historical case study of farm operations in the Upper Iowa Watershed of northeast Iowa that were shaped by the region's unique geography and culture. They study documents evolution of farming systems in the region over the past 80 years as farmers adapted to rapid economic and technological changes.

April 2014
Leopold Center Document Diversity of Conventional Farming in Northeast Iowa: Why Do Farmers Farm the Way They Do?
Alice Topaloff, Leopold Center Intern

This four-page publication describes work of the STRIPS Research Team, Science-based Trials of Row-crops Integrated with Prairie Strips, in the context of an Iowa landscape and agricultural production. Findings also are presented from the team's experimental watershed sites at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Jasper County.

March 2014
Leopold Center Document Small Changes, Big Impacts: Prairie Conservation Strips
STRIPS Research Team

This is an evaluation of seven one-year food system projects funded by the Local Food & Farm Initiative (LFFI). The initiative is funded by an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature and administered from the Leopold Center. For ever dollar of LFFI investment in these projects, another $17.92 was leveraged by project leaders and their partners.

February 2014
Leopold Center Document Local Food & Farm Initiative Program Outcomes and Impacts, 2011-2014
Corry Bregendahl and Arlene Enderton, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

This trifold brochure explains the Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure (SALT) Initiative, a collaboration of the Drake Agricultural Law Center and the Leopold Center. A number of resources have been created as part of this initiative including The Landowner's Guide to Sustainable Farm Leasing, The Landowner's Decision Tool, videos, podcasts, sample leases and other organizations.  Find them at www.sustainablefarmlease.org.

January 2014
Landowner Resources for Sustainable Farm Leasing
Drake Agricultural Law Center

This 28-page publication describes field machinery used on six Iowa fruit and vegetable operations. The case studies looked at how size, diversification, marketing strategies and production methods impacted decisions regarding machinery. Here's a summary of the findings in a two-page handout [PDF] about the project that was supported by a 2012 Leopold Center research grant and a one-year 2013 research grant.

January 2014
Potential for Machinery: A Case Study of Fruit and Vegetable Growers in Iowa
Nicholas Pates and Georgeanne Artz, ISU Department of Economics

This study, conducted every five years, indicates three major trends: increasing age of Iowa farmland owners, an increasing amount of land that is cash rented rather than by crop share agreements, and a shift of land ownership away from people who are not full-time residents.

January 2014
Leopold Center Document Farmland Ownership and Tenure in Iowa, 2012
Mike Duffy and Ann Johanns, ISU Extension and Outreach

Read abstracts of research, education and demonstration projects that received funds from the Leopold Center. The document includes 338 grant projects completed from 1996 through 2013, listed by topic and year of completion. Summaries of all project results are online. To receive a copy of a project's complete final report, contact the Leopold Center, (515) 294-3711.

December 2013
Leopold Center Document Abstracts of Recent Leopold Center Projects
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

This fact sheet summarizes research that was part of a five-year project to explore residual nitrate in a variety of cropping systems. The experiment was conducted on a farm in an area where the City of Sioux Center owns several shallow wells that supply more half of the municipal water supplies. The research was supported by this Leopold Center grant.

December 2013
Crop Rotation Research Studies Residual Nitrate
Becky Ohrtman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Source Water Protection

This report summarizes the statewide impact of the local food industry on Iowa's economy in connection with efforts of the Regional Food Systems Working Group (RFSWG). The report measured four indicators of economic change: local food sales by farmers, local food purchases by grocery stores, restaurants and institutions, job creation and funds leveraged to support development of regional food systems. Additional information here

November 2013
Leopold Center Document 2012 Economic Impacts of Iowa's Regional Food Systems Working Group
Corry Bregendahl and Arlene Enderton, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture