Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center

The Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center is located just north of the Tennessee River, a stone’s throw from Interstate 65, right in the heart of Alabama’s top cotton-producing region and directly on the cutting edge of cotton research. Though TVREC research projects frequently target corn, soybeans and wheat, cotton claims the lion’s share of attention, and it is for its cotton research that the center is nationally recognized.

The TVREC was an early convert to precision agriculture technologies and today has a full inventory of global positioning system–based equipment that includes autosteer tractors, yield monitors and light-bar guidance systems.

Current Research Updates

  • Seed treatments and cultivar tolerance are being evaluated to help cotton producers control the reniform nematode. This pest reduces cotton yields, boll size and lint percentage. Plants can be stunted and respond poorly to inputs such as irrigation and fertilizer. Due to a lack of resistance in adapted upland cotton cultivars, strategies for management of reniform nematode in cotton are limited primarily to chemicals and crop rotation.
  • Two irrigation scheduling methods and three nitrogen application rates are being compared for high-management corn production. Sensor-based irrigation scheduling and a conventional irrigation method are being evaluated with various nitrogen rates. Sensors are proving to be helpful in explaining plant processes during the growing season, in addition to scheduling irrigation.
  • Soybeans have become the largest row crop in acreage in Alabama, with producers planting almost 500,000 acres annually. Supplemental nitrogen applications are being evaluated to determine if the treatments will increase the yields of irrigated soybeans.