Research Stations - Tidewater Research Station
Corn genetic studies evaluate breeding lines, yields, diseases, lodging, grain quality and drydown. Commercial varieties are evaluated for yield, lodging, and maturity. Field corn insect, weed and fertility studies are also of ongoing importance. Soybean breeding lines are evaluated for yield, disease, insect resistance, lodging and shattering. Other studies of soybeans include official variety test of commercial varieties for similar agronomic characteristics. Small grain studies include breeding research, investigation of the Cereal Leaf Beetle and fertility. Other agronomic tests look at the relationships among tilling, fertility, and yields. Cotton research includes insect studies and weed control on organic soils.
Long-term studies of grain cropping systems involve corn, soybeans, and wheat, along with tillage, water level control, fertility and the measurement of cropping inputs in ground water through a system of wells and tile drains. Other activities include Irish potato breeding, cabbage, Global Positioning Systems and Precision Farming, screening rice varieties and Fescue grass fertilization.
The aquaculture research program includes ponds, raceways and tank culture of finfish. Pond production is conducted in 18 quarter-acre ponds with studies focused on striped hybrid bass and yellow perch. The raceways are used to hold, grade, and feed train yellow perch. Tank culture studies involve only flounder. Both flounder and yellow perch are spawned at this location, and both species are used for fingerling and grow-out studies. Phase II fingerlings are purchased for the striped hybrid bass; studies involving feeding and water quality are conducted in the grow-out phase with this species. A cooperative research study, with industry participation in the production of flounder fingerlings, began in January 2001.
Beef cattle research involves crossbreeding of a 160-cow herd using several major breeds. Research projects evaluate growth and feeder calf quality traits for crossbred calves, reproductive and maternal traits and evaluation of terminal sires mated to crossbred cows. Beef steers are used to evaluate alternative protein sources for over wintering. These same steers are then used in summer grazing trials. Swine studies from a 200-sow herd of white line/black line breeds develop and evaluate maternal and paternal lines using litter size, weight and lean growth as selection criteria.
A state-of-the art glass and masonry headhouse/greenhouse was completed in 1995 and serves the N.C. State University faculty located at the Vernon G. James Research and Extension Center located on the station grounds. Current studies conducted there include Irish potato breeding, cabbage diseases, cotton insects, bT corn insects, blackberries, blueberries and soil fertility of cereal grain crops.
Major studies of agriculture and forestry water quality are being conducted. Quantity and quality of all inputs which include both naturally occurring and production inputs are measured. Ground water contamination and input movements are observed.