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Steve Eaton, Resident Director
Vegetable Research Station
P. O. Box 2608 
3810 Thornhill Street 
Alma, AR 72921 
Phone: 479-474-0475 
Fax: 479-474-0164
Twitter: UAVegStation

Research Focus

The Vegetable Research Station is used for vegetable and agronomic crop research and is the primary research site for the vegetable breeding program, which focuses on spinach and southern peas. Row crop studies have included soybeans, corn, rice, and wheat variety trials; wheat breeding; fungicide testing; and soil fertility research. Research personnel at the Station work with the state’s edamame farmers to grow the new-to-Arkansas food crop.



  • Encompasses 87 acres in Crawford County of irrigated land located south of Alma within 1.0 mile of the Arkansas River
  • USDA IR-4 (national program for the Registration of Pesticides For Minor Uses) Research Center for the Southern Region
  • Instrumental in the release of 17 southern pea varieties since 1973, as well as 7 spinach, 5 tomato, 3 okra, and 2 turnip varieties, and 1 variety each of mustard greens, cucumber, and collard greens
  • Soils are well-drained, fine sandy loams or silt loams with the Roxanna and Dardanelle series being the predominant series



  • Staff consists of the resident director, 2 full-time research technicians, and 2 full-time employees
  • 63 acres under linear irrigation
  • Meeting facility with seating capacity for 150
  • 192 sq. ft. of walk-in cooler space


The Agricultural Experiment Station has been conducting research on vegetable crops since the 1930’s. In 1938, an agreement was made with the Ft. Smith Chamber of Commerce to do vegetable research in the Van Buren area. In the late 1930’s to the mid 1940’s, research was done on the Whiteside Farms near Van Buren. In July 1948, the Vegetable Substation was opened in Van Buren on leased land where the Industrial Park is now located. In 1975, the station was moved to the present location due to greater industrialization of the Van Buren site. Construction on the current office building was started in 1996 and the facility was dedicated in July 1997.