Livestock
& Forestry
Research
Station

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Quick Information

Don Hubbell, Resident Director
Livestock & Forestry Research Station
70 Experiment Station
Batesville, AR
Phone: 870-793-7432
Fax: 870-793-6836
Email: dhubbell@uark.edu

Research Focus

 

The primary research focus of the Livestock & Forestry Station is on beef cattle management/production through large-scale replicated forage trials on the 350-head brood cow herd utilizing three of the predominate forages commonly used in Arkansas – Kentucky 31 fescue, bermudagrass, and winter annuals. The forestry program is comprised of 1,750 acres of upland hardwood timber and shortleaf pine that are managed to enhance productivity, species composition, survivability, and marketing options.

 

Facts

  • Also known as the Batesville Station, the 3042 acre Station has a 1250 acre beef cattle unit and 1750 acre forestry unit
  • The livestock and forage research program focuses on developing and identifying fescue tolerant beef animals through DNA mapping and epigenetics and using forages and growth-promoting technology for stocker calf production
  • The forestry research program focuses on using prescribed burning, chemical application, and harvesting methods to improve timber stands, and evaluating the survivability of genetically improved Loblolly and shortleaf pine seedlings for reforestation
  • Soils are cherty silt loams dominated by the Clarksville, Captina, Noark, and Peridge series
  • The hardwood forestry tract is located next to the White River and is dominated by the Clarksville series with 20 to 40% slopes

 

Resources

  • Staff consists of the resident director, 1 full-time forestry research technician, 2 full-time livestock research technicians, and 5 full-time employees
  • On-site, modern National Weather Service weather station
  • Meeting facility with a seating capacity of 125
  • 350-head brood cowherd (spring and fall calving)
  • 120 replacement heifers, 180 feeder steers, and 18 herd bulls
  • 600 stocker calves received annually
  • Forage types include Kentucky 31, Estancia and Duramax Novel fescues, Hardie, Midland, Coastal, and Common bermudagrasses and winter annuals
  • Sixteen 8-acre KY31 Fescue pastures
  • Four 25-acre endophyte-infected KY31 Fescue pastures
  • Five 25-acre pastures of Estancia Fescue
  • Eight 8-acre Novel Estancia Fescue pastures
  • Fourteen 5-acre Duramax Novel Fescue pastures
  • Twelve 5-acre and ten 4-acre bermudagrass pastures
  • Thirty 4-acre winter annual pastures
  • Twelve, 1-acre receiving pens

 

History

The Livestock & Forestry Research Station was established by the Arkansas General Assembly in 1937 making it the fourth oldest “branch” unit of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. The initial purpose of the station was to study land utilization through livestock and forestry and demonstrate erosion control and land reclamation of the sloping soils that were used for cotton or timber production in the Ozark limestone region. The land was purchased by Independence County and deeded to the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees to be used only for the purpose of maintaining a research station. The original allocation was one tract of 2155 acres for land use, livestock, pasture, and crops studies of economic importance to the area and another of 887 acres mostly in virgin hardwoods. Soon after the land was acquired construction began with the assistance of the Soil Conservation Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC). Initial construction included six miles of roads, seven miles of fencing, a mile-long grass spillway, five buildings and laboratories, and the establishment of plots and pastures.

The mission has since evolved into forage and beef cattle research, which complements the most common land use in the surrounding area. With the completion in 1998, the Station was revitalized with the construction of a new office and meeting room complex, residence, mechanic shop, and updating of the cattle handling facilities and hay barns.