Claude Kennedy, Resident Director
Lon Mann Cotton Research Station
Highway 1 South
P.O. Box 789
Marianna, AR 72360
Soil Test Lab Services and Methods
Routine soil analysis provides information on the pH and fertility status of the soil. Soil test results provide guidance on the types and amounts of fertilizer and lime to apply to optimize plant growth and yield. Soil testing is just one component of agronomic and environmental nutrient management that collectively helps sustain plant growth and minimize nutrient losses into the surrounding landscape using the best available science. In Arkansas, routine soil testing is done free of charge provided the soil is from Arkansas and the person submitting the sample is an Arkansas resident. The Fertilizer Tonnage Fee has supported soil testing services and enforcement of fertilizer laws in Arkansas since 1953 and provides free routine testing of soil at the Marianna Laboratory. Routine soil analysis includes measurement of soil water pH and extraction of plant available nutrients using the Mehlich-3 extraction method. A list of routine and non-routine (fee-based) services and references for the analytical methods used by the Marianna Soil Test Laboratory is given below. For information on how to collect and submit a soil sample, please go to How to Submit Soil Samples page.
Lon Mann made great contributions to Arkansas’ cotton industry. Always an energetic worker, he was a recognized leader since he returned from the military after World War II. He served as president of the Agricultural Council, president of the Arkansas-Missouri Ginners Association (now the Southern Ginners Association), and president of the National Cotton Council. He also served on the Cotton Board, the body responsible for collecting research and promotion funds from cotton farmers. In 1978, Mr. Mann was elected president of the National Cotton Council, followed by the chairman of the board of directors in 1979. During his tenure as president, his leadership brought that industry through a difficult regulatory issue. In recognition of his excellent service to the industry, Mr. Mann was elected to the Cotton Hall of Fame. For those causes that Mr. Mann believed in deeply, he gave unselfishly of his time and money. He was a champion of civic and community efforts, and his long-standing board service with the Methodist Hospitals of Memphis was recognized throughout the Midsouth. He received the Methodist Hospitals Foundation’s “Living Award” in 1992.
The research focus of the Lon Mann Cotton Research Station is on the agronomic crops of eastern Arkansas, principally cotton, soybeans, small grains, grain sorghum, and corn. The research includes variety performance, insect management, irrigation, fertilization, sustainability, weed control, disease management, alternative residue management practices, evaluation of breeding lines for cultivar development, and testing for effectiveness of seed treatments.
- Encompasses 655 acres in Lee County located three miles south of Marianna on Highway 1
- Soils are silt loam in texture with the Calloway, Zachary, Memphis, Loring, and Convent soil series being predominant
- Home to the Soil Testing and Research Laboratory that was renovated in 2018
- Staff consists of the resident director, 1 full-time research technician, and 7 full-time employees
- Dan Felton Jr. Building with a 160-seat auditorium, laboratory, staff offices, kitchen, and conference room
- 518 acres of precision-graded, furrow-irrigated fields for research and production
- 4-acre pecan orchard with 76 trees
- Field and specialized research equipment for crop planting, maintenance, irrigation, and harvest
The Lon Mann Cotton Research Station is one of the three original branch stations authorized by the Arkansas General Assembly in 1923, to be “located on soils fairly representative of the soils on which cotton is grown in the state and shall be devoted to investigational work relative to the problems of cotton farmers, including cotton production, varieties, soils, and soil management, irrigation, rotation, other crops for the cotton farmer, livestock and poultry for the cotton region, and the fruits and truck crops adapted to such system of farming together with the economic problems of the farmers of that section”. Funding was provided in 1925, allowing for the purchase of 160 acres. By 1926, a brick residence and office building was constructed, soon to be followed by construction of a mule barn, machinery building, shop, cotton gin, and, eventually, farm labor houses.
The station, originally named the Cotton Branch Experiment Station, was greatly expanded in 1963 with the purchase of the 160-acre Brittian farm and again in 1968 with the purchase of the 335-acre Graves farm. In 2005, the construction of a new headquarters, the Dan Felton Jr. Building, was completed and the Station renamed the Lon Mann Cotton Research Station to honor the legacies of two men who were leaders in the development of modern Arkansas agriculture.