Summary: Big happenings with research stations. Thanks to a public-private partnership, John Deere will be loaning new tractors to two of our research stations to help with research crops. Case IH has a similar program that also allows local college students to use these tractors in a hands-on way, giving them the opportunity to use some of the latest farm technology available. And, NC A&T State University officially opened its new Extension and Research Pavilion last week.
- I like to highlight different division’s work from time to time, and there is a lot going on in the area of research stations right now that I want to share with listeners.
- The department has a longstanding partnership with N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University on agricultural research. It is a partnership that I believe has served our state’s farmers and agribusiness owners well over the years and has allowed our farmers to remain competitive, improve yields and lower input costs.
- We have 18 stations across the state that allows researchers to tailor research for specific climate and soil conditions that vary widely across the state. We are lucky to be able to do this level of research, because production is different from the mountains to Eastern North Carolina.
- Teresa Lambert heads up our research stations division. She has previously managed Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury and even grew up on one of the stations as a child. She is doing a terrific job.
- Under her leadership, we are embarking on a new five-year public-private partnership with John Deere that will loan our research stations $1.28 million worth of tractors. That comes out to nine large tractors, each equipped with the company’s GreenStar guidance system.
- We will be able to use these tractor for 200 hours or 12 months. As part of the agreement, four of those hours will need to be used by students to give them exposure to the new guidance technology.
- For that reason, these tractors will go to the Central Crops Research Station at Clayton and N.C. State University’s Lake Wheeler Road Research Lab just south of Raleigh. Both stations are near N.C. State University so the tractors will be used by ag students.
- At the end of the 12 months or 200 hours, John Deere will pick up the tractors and loan us new ones.
- This is a great benefit to the stations and students attending colleges nearby. It saves the research stations a tremendous amount of money and what an opportunity it offers students to use the latest technology.
- We have been doing a similar loaner program with CASE New Holland at the Horticultural Crops Research Station in Clinton, and I know Teresa would welcome other companies that are interested in a partnership.
- I want to thank John Deere, CASE New Holland, and equipment dealers Quality Equipment and Carolina Agri Power for being great partners in this effort. We appreciate their support.
- In other news about agricultural research, last week I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for North Carolina A&T State University’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Science’s Research Farm Pavilion. The 17,000 square-foot pavilion will add to outreach and educational opportunities at the farm. It is a fantastic facility and they have a lot of great projects going on at A&T, so this facility will play an important role in helping share the results of their research work with growers and others in the industry.