Lower Coastal Plain Tobacco/
Cunningham Research Station
Research Operations Manager
|200 Cunningham Road
Kinston, NC 28501-1700
PHONE: (252) 527-3579
FAX: (252) 527-2036
The Lower Coastal Plain Tobacco Research Station and the Cunningham Research Station may be six miles apart, but they operate as one facility. The Lower Coastal Station was originally established in 1948 on rented land in Pitt County. The station was moved to its present site in Lenoir County in 1965. This facility has 86 acres of cropland and 15 acres of infrastructure. The Cunningham station was established in 1987 as an agricultural research station for N.C. State University and named for Raymond Pollock Cunningham. The facility is used for teaching, research and extension activities to demonstrate modern agricultural practices.
There are 252 acres of cropland, 90 percent of which can be irrigated. There are also 111 acres of woodland, 16 acres of ponds and 35 acres of infrastructure. In 2006 this station merged with Caswell Research Farm also located in Kinston. Lower Coastal Plain site consists of a residence, maintenance shop with implement shed and tobacco barns with a tobacco packhouse facility.
Cunningham Research Station consists of a conference facility that houses the administrative staff and provides a regional conference facility for agricultural education and training meetings. There are also horticultural and tobacco greenhouses, burley tobacco drying facility, flue-cured bulk barns, equipment sheds, chemical and pesticide storage buildings, shop with implement sheds and storage facilities.
The primary purpose of this research station is to provide resources in the form of land, equipment, personnel, expertise, labor, facilities and irrigation to research scientist conducting field research studies on agricultural crops. The station currently provides support for scientists conducting research studies on both field and horticultural crops. Because of its location in the vast agricultural community of Eastern North Carolina and its proximity to the developing Global TransPark, this research facility is extremely important to Agricultural Research Service scientists and the private farming sector. This is especially true as Eastern North Carolina agriculture moves toward more significant diversification into horticultural crops. This station has contributed to many of today’s successful agricultural production practices, and it will be a vital link in providing information to growers as they further diversity their crop production and produce commodities for sale in emerging produce markets.
Each year, the station hosts a Tobacco Field Day and a Sweet Potato Field Day, the N.C. Tobacco Tour and the Regional Flue-cured Variety Tour.