The School of Agriculture at Texas A&M University-Commerce has acquired a new blackland research farm. The farm will allow students to gain hands on experience by conducting research on a wider variety of crops.
“Our new site will allow us to conduct research and host student projects for every crop grown commercially across the blackland prairie,” said Professor and Interim Director of the School of Agriculture, Dr. Derald Harp. “We expect to see greater collaborative opportunities with AgriLife personnel and various commodity and industry groups, and we also expect to carve out parcels to be dedicated to long-term horticultural studies.”
The School of Agriculture collaborated with Texas A&M Agrilife and Texas A&M Agrilife Research to establish a research farm 20 years ago on land leased from Cereal Crops Research, Inc. (CCRI), a group of local farmers in Fairlie, Texas. The School of Agriculture, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and Texas A&M Agrilife Research conduct trials on fertilizers and pesticides at the farm. These trials help farmers know which products will perform the best in the blackland prairie ground, which has helped farmers save time and money.
“Producers in Northeast Texas have needed a controlled site for crop and forage research to be conducted for several years,” said CCRI President Ben Scholz. “The regional tie in with agriculture and A&M-Commerce makes it a win-win situation.”
The primary crops on the existing blackland farm are wheat and cotton. The new site will allow students to conduct research on other crops including corn, grain sorghum, soybeans and other specialty crops.
“If we can find similar successes in other crops that we’ve been able to demonstrate in wheat, the purchase of the farm will be minor compared to the impact we will have across the region,” said Dr. Harp.
For more information about the School of Agriculture, visit: tamuc.edu/Ag.