713 County Road 4 East
Prattville, AL 36067
From Prattville travel South on U.S. 31 for approximately 5 miles. Turn right (west) onto County Road 4. Go 2 miles. PARU is on the right.
7:00 a.m — 4:00 p.m.
The Prattville Agricultural Research Unit (formerly known as the Prattville Experiment Field) was established by 1930 and administered by the Department of Agronomy and Soils until the mid-1960s. The unit has largely been devoted to research on soil fertility and cropping methods.
Located just minutes from the state capitol building in Montgomery, PARU has provided the bulk of the cotton insect work for central and southern Alabama during the past 30 years. During the past decade, cotton acreages have returned to South Alabama and even surpassed the Tennessee Valley region as the dominant production area of the state.
Several major problems and events in cotton insect management and control occurred during this period. In the fall of 1986, the boll weevil eradication program was initiated and moved northward through the state. The next decade saw the outbreak of beet armyworms followed by pyrethroid-resistant tobacco budworms. The PARU was the primary site for research toward a solution to these problems. Data generated at PARU were used to justify a Section 18 Emergency Exemption for the use of Pirate insecticide against beet armyworms. Prattville was also one of the first locations to explore the value of Monsanto’s genetically altered Bt cotton. This cotton proved to be exceptionally effective against the pyrethroid-resistant budworms.
Prattville Experiment Field was one of ten experiment fields established and in operation by 1930 on tracts ranging from 33 to 60 acres in size. Of these ten, three remain in service today: Brewton Esperiment Field, Monroeville Experiment Field, and Prattville Experiment Field.