History of the Piedmont Research Unit

The Piedmont Research Unit (formerly known as the Piedmont Substation) was established on 1,409 acres in 1945 in Tallapoosa Country near Camp Hill, Ala., to provide additional land for pasture and forage crops research.

The Piedmont Research Unit’s soil types offered opportunities for research to serve a unique farming area and over the years research has been conducted on field, forage and horticultural crop production and beef cattle farming. The substation was the site for a dairy demonstration unit in the 1940s

In the 1990s, results of a 13-year study produced in-depth information about more than 60 native and exotic trees.

Emphasis on wildlife management in more recent years has offered support for landowners interested in cashing in on the strong demand for hunting opportunities. Research over the past 75 years has resulted in the release of six new Chinese chestnut varieties that will yield a continuous high-energy food source for wildlife.

The Piedmont Substation was one of the five substations established in Alabama during and a few years after World War II: Upper Coastal Plain in 1944, Piedmont Substation in 1945, North Alabama Horticulture Substation at Cullman in 1948, Chilton Area Horticulture Substation at Clanton in 1948 and the Lower Coastal Plain Substation at Camden in 1948.

History adapted from the following publications:
Kerr, N.A. 1985. A History of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station: 1883-1983. Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama.
Yeager, J. and G. Stevenson. 2000. Inside Ag Hill: The People and Events That Shaped Auburn’s Agricultural history from 1872 through 1999. Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama.