Research Stations - Caswell Research Farm
More than 90 acres - equaling more than 12,000 plots - of intensive soybean research is conducted on the farm annually. Researchers have genetically increased the market value of the crop through the use of traditional breeding techniques. Improvements have been made in the composition of the soybeans and production efficiency of the crop. The station also hosts the Official Variety Trial for soybeans.
Research on the farm includes testing experimental hybrids developed by breeding U.S. corn with tropical corns with the goal of identifying new sources of genes for stress tolerance and productivity for North Carolina growing conditions.
The farm supports research of no-till production practices in wheat and evaluation studies of Amino Sugar Soil Nitrogen tests.
Caswell Research Farm has become one of two locations at which research is being conducted on population dynamics and management of several troublesome weed species that are rapidly spreading in NC (e.g. apple of Peru) or are becoming more difficult to control (e.g. herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth). Researchers are also working to quantify crop yield loss from new competitively invasive weed species. The land area is large enough to conduct trials in multiple crops simultaneously and the remoteness of area provides for separation from other agronomic investigations and minimizes risk of spread to other locations.
Recently, Caswell has expanded into organic research. This includes research on organically grown red clover, rape seed, canola, lespedza and soybeans. Soybeans are the primary focus with research being conducted on plant populations, no-till systems and breeding a highly competitive variety. Plans include expanding and developing organic research on the 40 acres of certifiable organic land. The Caswell Research Farm is rapidly on its way to being the premier location for row crop plant breeding evaluation studies in the state.