Research Gets Bogged Down

The devastating flooding from May 1-2 took a toll on agricultural research, washing away a number of crop tests and experiments at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson. Portions of the Centerís grounds were underwater for almost four days and officials say recovery could take some time.

According to WTREC Director Dr. Bob Hayes, almost 40 acres of crops will have to be replanted in the coming weeks, and large deposits of sand will have to be removed from certain fields.

These crops were part of research experiments performed by scientists with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. The West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center acts as an outdoor laboratory where UT faculty can test their theories in real-world conditions. The Center also serves as a valuable outreach tool for local farmers who can see the results of these experiments first hand. WTREC specializes in research on agronomic crops, like cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat, as well as ornamentals.

A total of 10 experiments were destroyed by flooding, including 3 corn variety tests, 3 cotton variety experiments, 2 USDA soybean cyst nematode trials and 1 corn fertility trial.

The West Tennessee AgResearch & Education Center is one of 10 research facilities operated by the UT Institute of Agriculture. In addition to its agricultural research programs, UTIA also provides instruction research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.


Ginger Rowsey