North Alabama

North Alabama Horticulture Research Center

Cullman, AL

The name of the North Alabama Horticultural Research Center east of Cullman is a dead giveaway as to what the 159-acre center is all about. Its sole role is to conduct scientific studies and generate research data that benefits large- and small-scale commercial fruit and vegetable producers in the state’s northern counties.

The NAHRC is one of only two Alabama Ag Experiment Station outlying units with certified organic research plots and uses those plots almost exclusively for studies on organic production of the area’s top three vegetable crops—fresh-market tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

ORGANIC AGRICULTURE – No-till production of tomatoes and peppers

VEGETABLES, FRUITS AND BERRIES – Small fruit and vegetable variety trials; production of virus-indexed sweetpotato seed for the Alabama sweetpotato industry

History

The North Alabama Horticulture Research Center (formerly known as the North Alabama Horticulture Substation) was established on a 160-acre site in Cullman Country in 1948.

During the 1950s and 1960s a variety of vegetables and fruits were studied at this Cullman substation to help local farmers build a truck crop industry. The most unique contribution of research at the substation was establishing a thriving pimento pepper production center. Work on sweetpotatoes, other vegetables and apples has been important as well.

The North Alabama Horticulture Research Center 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.

Staff Directory

Arnold W. Caylor

Arnold W. Caylor

Director, Research/Extension Ctr.

761 Co Rd 1466
Cullman, AL 35055
cayloaw@auburn.edu

Contact

256-734-5820

North Alabama Horticulture Research Center
765 County Road 1466
P.O. Box 1062
Cullman, AL  35056

Directions

From Cullman, travel East on U.S. Highway 278 to Alabama Highway 69. Turn North and travel about 2 miles to Center.

Office Hours

7:30 AM — 4:00 PM
Monday — Friday

Sand Mountain Research & Extension Center

Crossville, AL

Agriculture is the economic lifeblood of northeast Alabama’s rural Sand Mountain region, and for eight decades now, the Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center has played a key role in strengthening the area’s farm sector.

The goal of SMREC research is to develop farm management practices that will help the region’s livestock, poultry, row crop and commercial vegetable producers—particularly small-scale farmers—to operate more efficiently, sustainably and profitably.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

MANURE AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT – Use of broiler litter in crop production

VEGETABLES, FRUITS AND BERRIES – Evaluation of new cherry and grape cultivars for north Alabama

PECANS – Evaluation of new cultivars for north Alabama

VARIETY EVALUATIONS – Evaluation of new varieties of tall fescue, annual ryegrass and legumes as well as different varieties of corn, soybean, wheat, barley, oats, triticale and ryegrass

History

The Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center (formerly known as the Sand Mountain Substation) was established at Crossville in 1929 initially to investigate horticulture and truck crops, but studies in hog and poultry production gained the increasing attention of investigators in subsequent years.

The first management unit established at Sand Mountain Substation was a 96-acre farm that combined cotton production with hogs and production of the necessary hog feed crops. A cotton-dairy unit was added later. The substation served as demonstration farm in the 1940s and during the 1950s and 60s was the site for cotton mechanization work under leadership of Tom Corley.

Sand Mountain Substation was the site of an innovative approach to environmental protection in the early 1990s with the design and testing of artificial wetlands to filter waste water from a swine operation at the facility. A constructed wetland was effective in reducing the nitrogen and phosphorus levels of the swine lagoon water discharge. Success of this wetlands to filter waste water from a production unit provided pioneering results for use in agriculture.

Sand Mountain Substation was one of the first five substations established in Alabama by the legislature to create research facilities in five main areas of the State: Tennessee Valley, Sand Mountain, Black Belt, Wiregrass and Gulf Coast. Three of the five went into operation in 1929: The Tennessee Valley Substation at Belle Mina, the Sand Mountain Substation at Crossville, and the Wiregrass Substation at Headland. The remaining two, the Black Belt Substation at Marion Junction and the Gulf Coast Substation at Fairhope, began operating in 1930.

Staff Directory

William Clements

William Clements

Director

13112 Hwy 68
Crossville, AL 35962
wcc0009@auburn.edu
Clint McElmoyl

Clint McElmoyl

Associate Director

13112 Hwy 68
Crossville, AL 35962
cdm0060@auburn.edu

Contact

256-528-7133

13112 AL Highway 68
Crossville, AL 35962
256-528-7133

Directions

From Cullman, travel East on U.S. Highway 278 to Alabama Highway 69. Turn North and travel about 2 miles to Center.

Office Hours

7:30 AM — 4:00 PM
Monday — Friday

Facilities

Public meeting facilities are available for ag-related groups.

Tennessee Valley Research & Extension Center

Bell Mina, AL

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.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

COTTON – Variety evaluations and long-term fertility tests; sprinkler (overhead) irrigation, subsurface irrigation and fertigation; disease and nematode management

VARIETY EVALUATIONS – Cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat

PRECISION TECHNOLOGY – Evaluation of geospatial navigation tools for efficient application of plant nutrients

History

The Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center (formerly known as the Tennessee Valley Substation) was established in 1929 in Belle Mina and immediately began studies involving poultry, corn, cotton and truck crops. The station’s later work focused on pasture development as livestock became increasingly important in north Alabama.

The station was the site for dairy demonstration units in the 1940s and during the 1950s and 60s was the site for cotton mechanization work under leadership of Tom Corley. Work on irrigation began in 1986 with the installation of an irrigation facility to study techniques needed by the farming industry.

The Tennessee Valley Substation was one of the first substations established in Alabama by the Legislature to create research facilities in five main areas of the state: Tennessee Valley, Sand Mountain, Black Belt, Wiregrass and Gulf Coast. Three of the five went into operation in 1929: The Tennessee Valley Substation at Belle Mina, the Sand Mountain Substation at Crossville and the Wiregrass Substation at Headland. The remaining two, the Black Belt Substation at Marion Junction and the Gulf Coast Substation at Fairhope, began operating in 1930.

Staff Directory

Chet Norris

Chet Norris

Director, Research/Extension Center

P.O. Box 159
Belle Mina, AL 35615
256-353-3978
norribe@auburn.edu
Hugh D. Harkins

Hugh D. Harkins

Associate Director, Research/Extension Center

P.O. Box 159
Belle Mina, AL 35615
256-353-3978
harkihd@auburn.edu

Bradley M. Durham

Bradley M. Durham

Advisor III, National Resource Program

P.O. Box 159
Belle Mina, AL 35615
334-844-4181
durhabm@auburn.edu

Contact

256-353-3978

Tennessee Valley Research & Extension Center
P.O. Box 159
Belle Mina, AL 35615

Shipping Address:
9494 Experimental Loop
Madison, AL 35756

Directions

From I-65, take Exit #340, merge onto I-565 East. Take Exit #2 (Mooresville Road or County Road 71). Go 4 miles North; the Center is on the left.

Office Hours

7:00 AM — 4:00 PM
Monday — Friday

Facilities

Public meeting facilities are available for ag-related groups.

Upper Coastal Plain Agricultural Research Center

Winfield, AL

The uneven terrain of the Upper Coastal Plain Agricultural Research Center could be challenging for row crop production, but for the cattle, pastureland and forage crop management research that takes center stage at the UCPARC, it’s ideal. The 735-acre UCPARC is located in northwest Alabama’s Marion County.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

CATTLE, PASTURELAND, & FORAGE CROP – Research is conducted on the center’s 735 acres, including efforts to develop switchgrass varieties that provide forage, improved conservation and bioenergy value. These grasses offer a number of distinct benefits compared to many annual row crops, including broad adaptation, improved soil conservation and quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon sequestration.

BEEF CATTLE – Impact of BVDV on herd health and economics.

FORAGE PRODUCTION – Effect of green June beetle larva on stand persistence in fescue pastures fertilized with broiler litter; variety evaluation of cool season grasses.

History

The Upper Coast Plain Agricultural Research Center (formerly known as the Upper Coastal Plain Substation) was established on 734 acres near Winfield (in Fayette and Marion counties) in 1944; it was the first of five new substations added to the outlying branch system in the 1940s.

A small dairy unit received considerable emphasis in the early years. In later years beef cattle and swine research as well as forage and horticultral crop studies have provided information needed by local, small-acreage farmers of this region of the state.

The Upper Coast Plain 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.

Staff Directory

Paul H. Walz

Paul H. Walz

Professor & Coordinator

Clinical Sciences
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-4490
walzpau@auburn.edu

Contact

205-487-2150

Upper Coastal Plain Agricultural Research Center
171 Experiment Loop
Winfield, AL 35594

Directions

From Winfield, travel Southwest on County Road 28 about 2 miles. Turn left at Experiment Loop.

Office Hours

7:00 AM — 3:30 PM
Monday — Friday

Facilities

Public meeting facilities are available for ag-related groups.

CENTRAL Alabama

Black Belt Research & Extension Center

Marion Junction, AL

Rolling prairie land and unique soil formations make the Black Belt Research and Extension Center in Marion Junction an excellent location for research on beef cattle and forages. The BBREC’s primary research focus is in the areas of grazing and animal breeding.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

ANIMAL HEALTH, NUTRITION AND REPRODUCTION – Projects include grazing studies as well as animal breeding experiments. Numerous cross-breeding studies at the BBREC have provided valuable information to the beef industry. Scientists are also investigating the effect of winter grazing systems on cow efficiency measures.

BEEF CATTLE – Projects include grazing studies as well as animal breeding experiments. Numerous cross-breeding studies at the BBREC have provided valuable information to the beef industry.

FORAGE PRODUCTION – Scientists are investigating the effect of winter grazing systems as well as the productivity, use and nutritive quality of dallisgrass.

VARIETY EVALUATIONS – Commercial varieties of grain sorghum are being evaluated for their resistance to the sugarcane aphid, which is causing significant economic losses throughout the Southeast. Various insecticide treatments also are being evaluated.

History

The Black Belt Research and Extension Center (formerly known as the Black Belt Substation ) at Marion Junction was established in 1930 and immediately focused upon restoring soil fertility to this much-abused land in an attempt to establish pastures to encourage the livestock industry.

The substation was the site for dairy demonstration units in the 1940s and for beef cattle nutrition research in the 1970s.

In the 1970s, researchers at the center were the first to associate poor cattle performance with endophyte fungus in fescue. That discovery resulted in new management strategies that allowed producers to dramatically increase weight gain in their herds and, subsequently, boost their profits.

Beef cattle, dairying, forages, soybeans and other crops adapted to the area continue to receive research emphasis.

BBREC was one of the first substations established in Alabama by the Legislature to create research facilities in five main areas of the state: Tennessee Valley, Sand Mountain, Black Belt, Wiregrass and Gulf Coast. Three of the five went into operation in 1929: The Tennessee Valley Substation at Belle Mina, the Sand Mountain Substation at Crossville and the Wiregrass Substation at Headland. The remaining two, the Black Belt Substation at Marion Junction and the Gulf Coast Substation at Fairhope, began operating in 1930.

Staff Directory

Jamie Yeager

Jamie Yeager

Director, Research/Extension Ctr.

60 County Road 944
Marion Junction, AL 36759
334-872-7878
yeagejj@auburn.edu

Contact

334-872-7878

Black Belt Research & Extension Center
60 County Road 944
Marion Junction, AL 36759

Directions

Turn North off US Highway 80 onto County Road 45.  Turn left onto second paved road.

Office Hours

7:00 AM — 4:30 PM
Monday — Friday

Facilities

Public meeting facilities are available for ag-related groups.

Chilton Research & Extension Center

Clanton, AL

It’s fitting that the Chilton Research and Extension Center is located in the shadow of Clanton’s famous giant peach water tower just off of I-65, because at the CREC, peaches rule. When the center was established in 1944, its mission was to identify superior varieties and develop new management techniques that would help Chilton County’s peach producers maximize their profits. And that’s still its mission today. The CREC does work with other small fruits—most notably kiwifruit—but peaches have priority.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

PEACHES – Chemical thinning projects, peach rootstock evaluation.

PEST MANAGEMENT – Integrated pest management of the plum curculio.

VEGETABLES, FRUITS, & BERRIES – Evaluation of plum, nectarine, satsuma, blackberry, fig, Japanese persimmon, muscadine, bunch grape and an assortment of vegetable varieties; Varietal research on kiwifruit is unique in the Southeast.

History

Established in 1948 on a 160-acre site near Clanton, the Chilton Research and Extension Center (formerly known as the Chilton Area Horticulture Substation) allowed extension of horticultural research into the central part of the state and promoted peaches as an increasingly valuable crop for the region’s farmers.

Although peaches absorbed the greatest attention of agricultural scientists, blackberries, sweet potatoes, beans peas, tomatoes and watermelons were also among the research interests of the station.

The Chilton Area Horticulture 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.

Staff Directory

James A. Pitts

James A. Pitts

Director, Research/Extension Ctr.

120 Co Rd 756
Clanton, AL 35045
205-646-3610

Contact

205-646-3610

120 Co. Rd. 756
Clanton, AL 35045

Directions

Turn East off U.S. Highway 31 onto County Road 29. Travel about 2 miles.

Office Hours

Center:
6:30 AM — 3:30 PM
Office:
6:30 AM — 5:00 PM

Facilities

Public meeting facilities are available for ag-related groups. The conference room can seat 50, has a 25-seat table and is wired for video conferences.

E.V. Smith Research Center

Shorter, AL

Located on Interstate 85 between Auburn and Montgomery, E.V. Smith Research Center is the most visible agricultural facility in Alabama. The only facility named for a former AAES director—Edwin V. Smith who served at Auburn from 1929 to 1972—it is also the largest and most comprehensive with research units in beef cattle, horticulture, plant breeding, field crops and biosystems engineering.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

ANIMAL HEALTH, NUTRITION AND REPRODUCTION – Winter annual forage and grazing studies.

ORGANIC AGRICULTURE – Certified organic vegetable production.

PLANT BREEDING – Soybean, cotton and forage breeding.

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE – Conservation tillage research.

VARIETY EVALUATIONS – Research on field and forage crops as well as vegetable crops and pecans.

History

In 1978, a 3,200-acre tract of land located between Auburn and Montgomery was dedicated in honor of the director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station from 1951 to 1972 as the E.V. Smith Research Center and field work in agronomy, horticulture and beef and dairy cattle was relocated from the Auburn campus to the center. About half of the land was designated for a new plant science unit, another 350 acres for agronomy experiments on Alabama’s major row and forage crops with special emphasis on soybean research and about 200 acres for horticulture research. Bordering the plant science unit was an animal science unit where beef cattle nutrition, beef cattle breeding and dairy cattle management facilities provided modern installations to research a variety of livestock questions.

Staff Directory

Greg Pate

Greg Pate

Director, Research/Extension Ctr.

E.V. Smith Research Center
4725 County Road 40
Shorter, AL 36075
334-727-7403

Contact

334-727-7403

E.V. Smith Research Center
4725 County Road 40
Shorter, AL 36075

Directions

From I-85, take Exit #26, which is the Tallassee exit.

Office Hours

7:00 AM — 3:30 PM
Monday — Friday

Piedmont Research Unit

Camp Hill, AL

A four-mile-long, eight-foot-high, fixed-knot steel fence constructed in 2007 at the Piedmont Research Unit in Camp Hill completely encloses 430 of the unit’s acres, and that land plus the deer that were on it when the final section of the fence went up comprise what has been dubbed the Auburn University deer lab. In an exhaustive, multidisciplinary long-term study of the lab’s approximately 100 captive white-tailed herd, researchers will generate detailed information on deer biology and behaviors that is expected to significantly impact the scientific management of deer.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

WHITE-TAILED DEER – The Piedmont Agricultural Research Unit provides a controlled environment for research on the biology of white-tailed deer. In a long-term study of approximately 100 captive white-tailed deer, researchers are generating detailed information on deer biology and behaviors that is expected to significantly impact the scientific management of deer. The field lab contains a diversity of habitats, including old pastures, hardwood uplands and bottomlands, planted pines and recent clear-cuts that are naturally regenerating.

History

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.

Staff Directory

Steve Ditchkoff

Steve Ditchkoff

Ireland Professor

School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences
3301 Forestry Wildlife
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-9240

Contact

256-896-4422

Piedmont Research Unit
P.O. Box 369
1399 North Main Street
Camp Hill, AL 36850

Directions

From Camp Hill travel east on Alabama Hwy 50. Turn left onto Tallapoosa County Road 89. Go 0.2 miles and turn left onto Piedmont Drive. The office building is 1 mile once you come through the gate. Signs are located at the intersections of Country Road 89 and Hwy 50  and at Piedmont Drive.

Office Hours

TBA

Plant Science Research Center

Auburn University, AL

The primary purpose of the Plant Science Research Center (PSRC) is to provide greenhouse space and supporting facilities and services to research scientists of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (AAES). The PSRC is dedicated to assisting scientists to meet the challenges that face Alabama agriculture presently and in the future.

The PSRC contains 12,800 square feet of greenhouse space divided into 12 zones equipped with Wadsworth EnviroStep controllers. The greenhouse area is divided into twelve 30-x36-foot zones, each equipped with individual temperature, air circulation, and shade controls.

  • Four of the zones are equipped with high intensity auxiliary lighting. Each of eight zones is equipped with two 3-x 24-foot tables and three 5-x 30-foot benches.
  • One zone is equipped with two 3-x24-foot benches and four 5-x30-foot benches with moveable tops.
  • Two zones are equipped with two 4-x24-foot benches and three 4-x30-foot benches with heavy duty casters for portability.
  • One zone is dedicated for organic production and has been certified organic since 2005.

Growing conditions are computer controlled utilizing StepSaver data acquisition software.  Data logs of cultural conditions are available for our research scientists by request. The software provides off-site control and monitoring of growing conditions by the PSRC management staff.

Our outdoor nursery area currently consists of 400 square feet under shade and 150 square feet of open space. The 20,000 square feet headhouse contains four laboratories, six growth chambers, a germination chamber, a walk-in cooler, and a conference room for small group meetings.

Areas of Research

BIOBASED PRODUCTS AND PROCESSING  – Production of bio-fuel crops, including propagation methods, cultural studies and nutritional studies.

COTTON  – Nematode populations, culture and identification methods; nematicide trials; cotton gene expression.

MICROBIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY  – Production methods and growth habits of bioremediation plants for run-off water.

ORGANIC AGRICULTURE – Production of organic transplants, vegetable crops and microgreens with an emphasis on organic substrates, fertility and insect control.

ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE – Suitable substrates and fertility for lotus.

PEST MANAGEMENT – Control of invasive species cogongrass and kudzu; reproduction, feeding and egg-laying habits of insect pests; plant viral, fungal and bacterial pathogens on vegetables, fruit, ornamentals and field crops; growth promotion and fertilizer reduction utilizing plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR).

VEGETABLES, FRUITS AND BERRIES – Plant viruses, fungi and baceteria affecting vegetable production.

History

In 1988, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station proposed updating its greenhouse facilities to keep up with changes in plant sciences research. The existing greenhouse facilities were located in central campus, surrounded by large buildings, limited in space and antiquated.

In August 1991, the first stage of the Plant Science Research Center was completed. Located on the south side of the Auburn University campus and the only AAES research facility on campus, the center consists of 10,800 square feet of modern greenhouse space and a headhouse containing laboratory and work space. It provides researchers with the latest in greenhouse climate-control monitoring and regulating systems.

In 2009, two additional greenhouse zones were added along with an updated, environmental control system with off-site monitoring and alarm capabilities.

In 2011, the PSRC will gain additional work space upon the completion of the soil processing building.  This area will house soil mixing equipment, an autoclave, soil and fertilizer storage areas, a walk-in cooler, loading dock and lab area for packing field samples.

Future plans include the purchase of four growth rooms for containment research and insect studies.

Staff Directory

Jane Farr

Jane Farr

Director, Research/Extension Ctr.

Plant Science Research Center
Auburn University, AL 36849
334-844-4403
hoehaje@auburn.edu

Contact

334-844-4403

Plant Science Research Center
75 Woodfield Drive
Auburn University, AL 36849

Directions

From Interstate I-85, take exit 51 and proceed north on College Street. Turn left onto Donahue Drive from College Street. The PSRC greenhouses will be on the right just past the ALFA Services Building.

Office Hours

7:45 AM — 4:45 PM
Monday — Friday

Prattville Agricultural Research Unit

Prattville, AL

Since 1928, the Prattville Agricultural Research Unit has specialized in small-plot research on traditional row crops, primarily cotton.

Areas of Research

COTTON 

  • Early season insect control in the absence of in-furrow, at planting insecticides
  • The influence of cropping systems in controlling the bollworm complex in conventional and genetically altered cotton varieties
  • Development and evaluation of breeding material for future agronomic performance
  • Variety evaluations

VARIETY EVALUATIONS  – Corn, cotton, small grain.

SOILS  – Long-term soil fertility studies on various crops. 

History

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.

Staff Directory

Don P. Moore

Don P. Moore

Director, Research/Extension Ctr.

713 County Road 4 East
Prattville, AL 36067
334-365-7169

Contact

334-365-7169

713 County Road 4 East
Prattville, AL 36067

Directions

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.

Office Hours

7:00 AM — 4:00 PM
Monday — Friday

SOUTH Alabama

Brewton Agricultural Research Unit

Brewton, AL

At the Brewton Agricultural Research Unit, the research emphasis is ever changing to meet the needs of researchers and producers.  With its sandy soils it is an ideal location for nematode research in several crops such as peanuts, cotton, and vegetables. There is a long term fertility study that can provide information on how different levels of nutrients effect the performance of various crops. The center also is involved in bioenergy research, with studies on switchgrass, bluestem and sorghum for use in biofuels. Past research has focused on ornamental crops and some of this research continues.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

BIOBASED PRODUCTS AND PROCESSING – Growing bioenergy crops.

ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE/NURSERY CROPS  – Crape myrtle breeding program; evaluation of nitrogen rates and timing of fungicide treatments on shrub roses, hydrangea and crape myrtles; disease control studies; variety evaluations.

VARIETY EVALUATIONS – Corn, small grain, soybeans.

VEGETABLES, FRUITS AND BERRIES – Nematode control; variety evaluations on tomatoes, peppers, squash, leaf lettuce, leafy greens and southern peas.

History

The Brewton Agricultural Research Unit (formerly known as the Brewton Experiment Field) was established by 1930 and administered by the Department of Agronomy and Soils until the mid-1960s. The unit began as a small field primarily for soil fertility research for agronomic crops on this particular soil type (Benndale fine sandy loam). During the last 25 years, the unit has become more involved with horticultural research with research on small fruits, vegetables, flowering annuals, woody ornamentals and some agronomic crops.

Brewton 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 Experiment Field, Monroeville Experiment Field and Prattville Experiment Field.

Staff Directory

Malcomb D. Pegues

Malcomb D. Pegues

Director, Research/Extension Center

8300 State Hwy 104
Fairhope, AL 36532
251-928-2740
Brad Miller

Brad Miller

Supervisor

PO Box 217
Brewton, AL 36427
334-867-3139

Contact

251-928-2740

Brewton Agricultural Research Unit
P.O. Box 217
2067 Kirkland Road
Brewton, AL 36426

Directions

Enter Brewton on U.S. Highway 31. Turn East in front of T.R. Miller High School onto Douglas Lane. Turn left at four-way stop onto Sowell Road. Turn right at dead end. Research Unit is approximately 1/2 mile on right.

Office Hours

7:00 AM — 4:00 PM
Monday — Friday

Facilities

Public meeting facilities are available for ag-related groups with a small conference room seating 20 or another larger space, that is heated but not cooled, with optional portable aluminum bleachers.

Gulf Coast Research & Extension Center

Fairhope, AL

With its location one mile east of Mobile Bay and 30 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center in Fairhope enjoys a climate that’s ideal for a highly diversified research program, and the GCREC takes full advantage of that. The long growing seasons and mostly mild winters allow for research on all of Alabama’s major row crops as well as on turfgrass, vegetable and fruit crops, pecans, beef cattle and forage. The GCREC’s top goal is to help southwest Alabama producers maximize their income.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

BEEF CATTLE – Herd management.

COTTON – Variety selection, insect control, disease control and growth regulator research.

CITRUS – Freeze protection and cold hardiness of citrus.

PEANUTS – Evaluation of peanut disease management programs.

PECANS – Low-input pecan management programs to reduce environmental effects from pesticides.

SOYBEANS – Control of Asian rust on soybean as well as selection of rust resistant breeding lines.

VARIETY EVALUATIONS – Corn, cotton, small grain, soybean.

History

The Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center (formerly known as the Gulf Coast Substation) began operating in 1930 at Fairhope, Ala. Research on seed potatoes obtained from the Midwest served as the primary focus for the substation researchers during the early years. Efforts to increase the phosphorus content of newly cleared acreage also received attention.

Research on other horticultural crops, agronomic field and forage crops and dairy and beef cattle was implemented later. A lagoon waste management and wastewater recycling system in connection with the dairy unit was added in the late 1970s.

The Gulf Coast Substation was one of the first five substations established in Alabama by the legislature to create research facilities in five main areas of the State: Tennessee Valley, Sand Mountain, Black Belt, Wiregrass and Gulf Coast. Three of the five went into operation in 1929: The Tennessee Valley Substation at Belle Mina, the Sand Mountain Substation at Crossville and the Wiregrass Substation at Headland. The remaining two, the Black Belt Substation at Marion Junction and the Gulf Coast Substation at Fairhope, began operating in 1930.

Staff Directory

Malcomb D. Pegues

Malcomb D. Pegues

Director, Research/Extension Center

8300 State Hwy 104
Fairhope, AL 36532
251-928-2740
Jarrod R. Jones

Jarrod R. Jones

Associate Director, Research/Extension Center

8300 State Hwy 104
Fairhope, AL 36532
251-928-2740

Contact

251-928-2740

Gulf Coast Research & Extension Center
8300 State Highway 104
Fairhope, AL 36532

Directions

From Interstate 10, take U.S. Highway 98 South (Daphne/Fairhope Exit). Go approximately 8 miles to Highway 104 and travel East 1/4 mile. The GCREC is adjacent to the highway.

Office Hours

7:00 AM — 4:00 PM
Monday — Friday

Facilities

Public meeting facilities are available for ag-related groups with an auditorium seating 125 that has wireless internet access and video conference capabilities.

Ornamental Horticulture Research Center

Spring Hill, AL

The Ornamental Horticulture Research Center (OHRC) in Mobile is located in an area of Alabama where commercial nurseries abound, and that’s an ideal site for an applied-research facility dedicated primarily to supporting the commercial container-nursery industry. Research at the OHRC focuses on helping producers identify and address pest, disease and other production problems. Located in an urban setting, at 17 acres, the OHRC is the smallest among the Alabama Ag Experiment Station’s outlying units.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

NURSERY PRODUCTION

  • Use of night-interrupted light for perennial plant production
  • Alternative media (various forestry products) as a supplement or replacement for pine bark in woody ornamental production
  • Controlled release fertilizer evaluations

DISEASE AND INSECT PEST MANAGEMENT

  • Spray trials for leaf spot diseases
  • Boxwood anthracnose control and etiology
  • Water temperature manipulation for hydroponic lettuce production
  • Etiology of Loropetalum gall disease
HOW CAN I GET A SOIL TEST KIT?
Please contact us at 251-342-2366 or contact your local county extension office.
CAN I GET A TOUR OF THE RESEARCH CENTER?
The OHRC is not open for daily tours. However, depending on the season and available personnel, anyone can call to arrange an appointment for a quick tour. If you have specific questions about a project or problem, contact us at 251-342-2366. We will make an appointment to discuss it.

History

The Spring Hill Ornamental Horticulture Substation (now the Ornamental Horticulture Research Center) can trace its beginnings to 1928 when an Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station entomologist was sent to Mobile to help Satsuma producers combat citrus pests. Work at the substation was gradually expanded to include azalea and camellia insects.

In 1945 Auburn severed its ties to the unit, but six years later in response to a severe freeze in 1950 and to grower needs, Alabama legislation funded restaffing of the field station.

Disease and insect control for ornamentals has been the major thrust for research at the station, but other aspects of nursery production have also been studied through the years.

At 18 acres, the OHRC is the smallest among the Alabama Ag Experiment Station’s outlying units. The substation was originally established on four acres near Mobile. In 1930 the city of Mobile deeded seven acres to Auburn University and in 1965 seven additional acres were deeded from Mobile to the station.

Staff Directory

John W. Olive

John W. Olive

Director, Research/Extension Center

PO Box 8276
Mobile, AL 36689
251-342-2366
Jeremy M. Pickens

Jeremy M. Pickens

Extension Specialist

PO Box 8276
Mobile, AL 36689-0276
251-342-2366

View website

Contact

251-342-2366

Ornamental Horticulture Research Center
P.O. Box 8276
411 North McGregor Ave.
Mobile, AL 36689

Directions

Exit I-65 at the Springhill Ave. exit. Proceed West on Springhill Ave. to the second traffic light. Turn left on McGregor Ave and proceed to the traffic round-about. Exit round-about at the first right. The entrance to the OHRC is immediately on the left.

Office Hours

7:30 AM — 4:00 PM
Monday — Friday

Wiregrass Research & Extension Center

Headland, AL

A variety of soil types and land characteristics typical of the Coastal Plain allow the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center (WREC) to address problems that challenge farmers in this region. While the center has been a leader in all types of agronomic research, it is renown for its focus on peanuts.

AREAS OF RESEARCH

PEANUTS – A twenty-one year old ongoing crop rotation study centered around peanuts.

CATTLE – Grassfed beef research utilizing multiple forage species.

VARIETY EVALUATIONS – Field and forage crops, including peanuts, cotton, corn, small grain.

History

The Wiregrass Substation (now known as the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center) was founded in 1929 at Headland, Ala. Early work concentrated on cotton and corn, the traditional crops of the region, but the peanut crop soon began to absorb most of the research work at the station.

After WWII farmers in the southeastern portion of Alabama steadily turned toward the cultivation of peanut as it became the primary cash crop in the region. AAES researchers used the Wiregrass land to address a host of problems associated with peanut production, including mechanical harvesting studies that reduced labor requirements for successful cultivation from 30 hours to only four hours per acre.

During the 1950s and 1960s areas of peanut research included mechanization, insect and disease control, storage and marketing. An extensive peanut storage project was conducted to provide information for farmers, peanut handlers, and warehousemen on maintaining peanut quality during storage. Also during these decades work was conducted on mechanizing cotton harvest.

A study in the 1980s found that the seeding rate for peanuts could be reduced without a significant reduction in yield or net returns.

The foundation peanut seed organization is currently handled at Wiregrass.

The Wiregrass Substation was one of the first five substations established in Alabama by the legislature to create research facilities in five main areas of the State: Tennessee Valley, Sand Mountain, Black Belt, Wiregrass and Gulf Coast. Three of the five went into operation in 1929: The Tennessee Valley Substation at Belle Mina, the Sand Mountain Substation at Crossville, and the Wiregrass Substation at Headland. The remaining two, the Black Belt Substation at Marion Junction and the Gulf Coast Substation at Fairhope, began operating in 1930.

Staff Directory

Larry W. Wells

Larry W. Wells

Director, Research/Extension Center

PO Box 217
Headland, AL 36345
334-693-2363
Brian E. Gamble

Brian E. Gamble

Associate Director, Research/Extension Center

PO Box 217
Headland, AL 36345
334-693-2363
Kris B. Balkcom

Kris B. Balkcom

Extension Specialist

PO Box 217
Headland, AL 36345
334-693-2010
William C. Birdsong

William C. Birdsong

Extension Specialist

Rickey G. HudsonPO Box 217
Headland, AL 36345
334-693-3800
View website
Rickey G. Hudson

Rickey G. Hudson

Regional Extension Agent III

PO Box 217
Headland, AL 36345
334-693-2010
View website

Contact

334-693-2363

Wiregrass Research & Extension Center
167 East Alabama Highway 134,
Headland, AL 36345

Directions

The WREC is located at the intersection of Alabama Highway 134 and U.S. Highway 431 North.

Office Hours

7:30 AM — 4:30 PM
Monday — Friday

Facilities

Public meeting facilities are available for ag-related groups.