Research Stations - Umstead Research Farm
Since transitioning from a focus on dairy research the farm has shifted into a more diverse type of research that utilizes the unique nature of the available resources. Buildings and pastures that were previously used for the dairy are now being used for small rudimentary animal research. The centerpiece of this research is the annual state Boer goat buck and doe study.
Other cropland and pastures are in research plots used to study invasive weeds and the efficacy of related herbicides. These types of herbicide studies have even extended from cropland to cut over forestry land and aquatic weeds in some of the ponds located on the station.
Previous pastures that were once grazed are now being used to produce hay for other outlying research stations including the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine, the NCSU Butner Beef Cattle Field Laboratory, and the N.C. A&T University beef operation.
Umstead has been one of several sites that has been used to evaluate the efficacy of herbicides used by the NC Department of Transportaiton in their roadside wild flower program. In addition to research plots, the NC DOT utilizing approximately 40 acres to produce wildflower seeds for their wildflower program.
To promote the effort to preserve land and green space, two sites at the Umstead Farm have been set aside for conservation. One site is about 300 acres for protection of the federally endangered smooth coneflower. The other site is a 1,600 acre area around Lake Holt, the water supply source for the town of Butner. This tract is under a conservation easement.
Two tracts of forestry land are being used in a comparative study in cooperation with the NC Division of Forest Resources to determine Best Management Practices related to surface runoff following logging with the Neuse River Basin. Another tract of the farm’s forestry land was recently dedicated for the protection of the smooth cornflower through a cooperative agreement with the NC Museum of Science and the NC Natural Heritage Program.