Tidewater Research Station
Research Operations Manager
|207 Research Station Road
Plymouth, NC 27962-9526
PHONE: (252) 793-4118 / 4428
FAX: (252) 793-5968
The Tidewater Research Station was established in 1943 in Washington County to serve a large area of North Carolina lying between the Coastal Plain region and coastal North Carolina. It replaced the Blackland Test Farm near Wenona, established in 1912. This region of North Carolina has expanded rapidly in agricultural enterprises during the past 35 years. Extensive land clearing and drainage occurred in this region from the early 1960s to the 1980s, and the need for research grew with increased crop acreage. The station concentrates primarily on research involving grain and swine production — the major focus of agriculture in the area.
The station is on 1,550 acres — 840 acres of woodland, 428 acres of cropland, 195 acres of pastures, and 95 acres in ponds, buildings, roads, and related areas.
The station is home to the Vernon G. James Research and Extension Center, a 32,000 square-foot facility houses research and extension specialists in the swine, beef, soils, entomology, plant pathology, crop science, horticulture science, and aquaculture disciplines, as well as related staff. Seven modern research laboratories and a conference center seating over 300 people are also part of this facility.
The uniqueness of soils and climate in this area offers tremendous potential for crop, vegetable, and livestock production. Strategically located to stimulate vegetable production, the station serves the commercial Irish potato growing region of North Carolina. Current research involves field crops, horticultural crops, soil, water, livestock, and aquaculture. TRS is increasing its emphasis on regional aquaculture research including hybrid striped bass and yellow perch studies. The extensive system of canals, open ditches, and drainage tile on the station have demonstrated how low-lying, undeveloped land could be made productive and has served as a pattern for area landowners.
In addition to the ongoing research programs that support area landowners and agriculture in the tidewater region of the state, the state plays an important role in the local community. For several years the station has hosted the Washington County Relay for Life event resulting in the county being ranked number 1 in the South Atlantic Region and number 3 in the nation.
The Tidewater Research Station hosts many education and training events annually. The onsite greenhouse facilities provide tours to local groups and schools. The onsite septic system project provides hands on training. Annual events include a Farm Safety Day and an Organic Field Day.