Bill eliminating longtime research center heads to Branstad

Gov. Terry Branstad attends the 2017 GOP Iowa Legislative Breakfast.
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A budget bill that would eliminate a longtime research center at Iowa State University is headed to Gov. Terry Branstad.

The Republican-controlled Legislature approved an agriculture-related budget bill this week that eliminates the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture by July 1. Remaining activities within the 30-year-old center would be administered by the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The bill redirects money for the Leopold Center - about $1.5 million - to the Nutrient Research Center at ISU, which studies the removal of nutrients in the water. A separate budget bill that cuts nearly $400,000 for the Leopold Center is also headed to governor.

GOP lawmakers have indicated the Leopold Center has completed its work. Staff for the center dispute that, arguing the center's research is valuable to farmers.