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ABE Extension & Engagement

The Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department has more than 90 years of experience in engagement with the people of the Indiana, national, and global communities. Through our Extension programs, we provide the link between Land Grant research and citizens who can use the information to improve their lives and livelihoods. We help crop and livestock production to be carried out more efficiently, promote the safety and health of people working in agriculture, and provide tools that enable Hoosiers to restore and protect natural resources, improve energy efficiency, and provide renewable energy.

Agricultural Air Quality

Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)The National Air Emissions Monitoring Study (NAEMS) is a major applied research project involving on-farm measurements of indoor air quality, performance of barn environmental control systems, nitrogen balances, and emission rates of regulated air pollutants.  A web-interactive odor setback model for livestock farms that will help to resolve conflicts between livestock producers and neighbors is also being developed and tested. 

Al Heber, Professor.

Agricultural Safety and Health

Ed Bell with modified tractorThe Agricultural Safety and Health Program assists rural residents in making their homes, work places and communities the safest and healthiest possible places to live and work. Programs include agricultural injury prevention, emergency preparedness, homeland security, and rehabilitation services to farmers impacted by disability.  General information on agricultural safety and health and related links, can be found at Farm Safety.   The Breaking New Ground Resource Center is internationally recognized as a source of information on rehabilitation technology relating to agricultural worksites. It manages the National AgrAbility Project, providing training and resources to the 22 state and regional AgrAbility Projects in collaboration with two national disability organizations.  Resources for rural caregivers are also provided.  

Bill Field, Professor; Paul Jones, Manager, Breaking New Ground Resource Center; Steve Swain, Rural Rehabilitation Specialist.


Anaerobic Digestion Technology

Since the first agro-industrial digester system was built in 1997 and the first manure digester system was built in 2002 in Indiana, application of anaerobic digestion technology in Indiana has been steadily increasing. The current systems in Indiana generate approximately 32 MW power and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by >300,000 tons per year. The potential energy from animal manure alone is equivalent to nearly 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year.

The Anaerobic Digestion Technology extension program aims at serving for the need of increasing interest and implementation of anaerobic digestion in Indiana for renewable energy generation and water and air resource protection. Technical, economic, environmental, and regulatory information about anaerobic digestion is provided for stakeholders from Indiana and beyond.

Jiqin (Jee-Chin) Ni, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist

Manure Management

Animal agriculture produces approximately 9.51 million tons of animal manure each year, equivalent to about 1.45 tons per resident per year in Indiana. Manure can be used as soil amendment, provide crop nutrients, and produce renewable energy. However, manure can also cause environmental pollution to affect water and air quality if managed or used improperly.

The Manure Management extension program provides research-based science, applicable technology, safety information, and regulatory resources to livestock and poultry producers, crop growers, and other stakeholders.

Jiqin (Jee-Chin) Ni, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist.

Post Harvest Grain Quality

Grain facility at ACREThe Post Harvest Grain Quality & Stored Product Protection Program is a cooperative effort of the departments of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Entomology, and Botany & Plant Pathology. The Purdue University Post-Harvest Education & Research Center serves crop and food producers, handlers and processors, and their allied manufacturing and service industries in Indiana and the Midwestern U.S. by supporting basic and applied research, undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education, hands-on diagnostic training, technology transfer activities and extension activities, and analysis and problem identification services.

The Extension position in Post Harvest Engineering is currently vacant. Although the College recognizes the need to fill this position, budget constraints have prevented the filling of the position that has been vacant since April 2008.

Klein Ileleji, Associate Professor

Renewable Energy

Wind TurbinesThe Renewable Energy Program builds capacity for the successful adoption of renewable energy technologies, and develops practices for improving energy efficiency of existing systems on farm. Efforts focus on commercial production of biofuels, wind power generation among rural communities, and on-farm energy and fertilizer production by anaerobic digestion systems. Information on solar energy, on-farm energy efficiency, and the utilization of co-products from corn ethanol production is also available.

Klein Ileleji, Associate Professor

Site-Specific Agricultural Technology

Gator equipped with GPSPurdue’s Site-Specific Management Center  provides up-to-date, reliable information to crop producers nationwide. Current work focuses on the development and evaluation of information-intensive, precision agricultural management systems.

Dan Ess, Associate Professor.

Water and Water Quality

Canoists on an Indiana lakeThe Water Quality Program provides education and tools for improving watershed management, reducing nutrient and pesticide losses to surface and ground water, and protecting drinking water. The Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy trains watershed coordinators and others through a combined distance and face-to-face education program to bring about effective local watershed management programs. The Safe Water for the Future program helps communities and families protect their drinking water, and provides information to the 1.5 million people in Indiana that rely on private water systems. Agricultural drainage management promotes more sustainable solutions for the 50 million acres of cropland in the Midwest that require tile drainage to be productive.

Purdue Extension partners with Michigan State University Extension to provide irrigation information and strategies for using water more efficiently.
Jane Frankenberger, Professor; Ben Reinhart Water Quality Program Coordinator; Lyndon Kelley, Irrigation Educator (joint with Michigan State University).

ABE Extension News