Pine Tree
Research
Station

Research Focus

Row crop research and production are the station’s primary missions. Rice and soybean projects encompass the majority of the research. Research projects with objectives focusing on soil fertility; variety testing; rice and soybean breeding; weed, insect, and disease management; agronomic crop production practices including rotation and cover crops; and irrigation research are performed on about 250 acres annually. The station is also used, as needed, to produce foundation rice, soybean, and wheat seed. Forestry research is conducted across the station and includes a wide range of projects: bottomland hardwood rehabilitation; cherrybark oak and nutall oak establishment; post-thinning growth and development of shumard oak, nuttall oak, and cherrybark oak; loblolly pine spacing, thinning and biomass trials; and maintenance of a cottonwood/willow clonal nursery.

 

Facts

  • The largest station in acreage, it encompasses 11,850 acres in St. Francis County located north of Interstate 40 on State Highway 306
  • Approximately 3500 acres are tillable and the remaining 8000 acres are in the hardwood forest and layout acres
  • Forestry research is conducted on about 200 acres by faculty with the Arkansas Forest Resources Center located at University of Arkansas Monticello
  • Cooperates with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to demonstrate improved wildlife management practices
  • Soils are silt loam in texture with the Calloway, Calhoun, Henry, and Loring soil series being the predominant series
  • The soils used for row crop production are generally alkaline from long-term irrigation using water from the alluvial aquifer

 

Resources

  • Staff consists of the resident director, two full-time research technicians, and eight full-time employees
  • Meeting facility with seating capacity for 150
  • 250 acres in precision-graded fields for research and production
  • 2000 acres of tillable land for crop production, research, and demonstration and 1500 acres in layout (former CRP acres)

 

History

The Division of Agriculture obtained the property in 1960 from the U.S. Forest Service and operated it as a substation of the Cotton Experiment Branch Station until 1975 when it became a separate branch station. The Station’s mission was initially diverse and included pasture and livestock production, forestry, and row crop production. In 1963, cattle were transferred to the Station after pastures were cleared, limed, and seeded to legumes and bermudagrass and the Station was assigned its first full-time research assistant. Forestry research was initiated with white ash, pumpkin ash, loblolly pine, and shortleaf pine in 1966 and 1967. Land suitable for row crop production was cleared of timber, an irrigation well was drilled, the first rice crop was planted in 1967, and the first soybean crop was planted in 1968.

By 1974, crop acreage had increased to 400 acres and the cattle herd peaked at nearly 750 head a year later. By 1982, the cattle herd had been removed from the station and the research emphasis was changed to row crop production. In 1999, a new headquarters building with meeting space was completed. Soybean, rice, corn, grain sorghum, and wheat are the primary focus of row crop research projects. Research projects involving switchgrass, canola, and cottonwood production have also been established at the station.