Iowa State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences recently hosted the U.S. Farm Report and AgriTalk's second annual college roadshow. The U.S. Farm Report is a weekly syndicated television news program that focus on advancements and achievement in the realm of agriculture and agribusiness.
During their time in Ames, they interviewed PLPM professor Dr. Steve Whitham about the Enviratron Project, a collaborative effort from multiple Iowa State researchers across different departments. The Enviratron is a robotic plant phenotyping facility housed at the ISU Ag Engineering and Agronomy Farm just outside of Ames. This facility which is funded by the National Science Foundation and ISU's CALS, features a robotic rover that moves between growth chambers to collect phenotypic data on how abiotic stress affects plant health. The growth chambers can be set to house and grow plants in various hostile environmental conditions. This unique design allows researchers like Dr. Whitham to gather important quantitative data reflecting how environmental stressors such as heat, drought, and cold can impact plant vigor and health all in one centralized facility.
Dr. Whitham and the Enviratron are featured in this video on the Farm Journal TV website around the 31:50 mark.
In addition to interviewing Dr. Whitham the U.S. Farm Report also interviewed Chad Hart and Lee Schulz. Tyne Morgan, the host of the show, also did reports on a new feed mill and grain science complex and interviewed faculty and students about the importance of this new technology. Find the full report here.
If you're curious and want to learn more about the Enviratron please visit the Enviratron webpage.