News Autaugaville Farm Home to New Experiment Station

Autaugaville Farm Home to New Experiment Station

Autaugaville Farm Home to New Experiment Station
July 2, 2024 |

For the first time in 52 years, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (AAES) is investing in a new outlying unit — a 904-acre property in Autaugaville.

AAES and Auburn University (AU) bought the land in May and are slated to break ground in 2025. Field plot research and crop production will begin in 2026 with full transition to a research station in 2027.

The investment in Autauga County is funded by the sale of two properties no longer in use by AAES or AU — the Lower Coastal Plains Agricultural Research Center in Camden and the Turnipseed-Ikenberry Place in Union Springs. Remaining funds will be used for capital expenditures within the AAES system. This will directly benefit Alabama farmers, said Paul Patterson.

“The purchase and development of the new Autaugaville property will enable us to expand row-crop research in the west-central region of the state,” said Patterson, AAES director and dean of AU’s College of Agriculture. “We also will be able to start an irrigation research center on this site. Data we maintain indicate these are areas where this region needs more research activity from us. The new property will equip us to do that.”

The Autaugaville site includes 400 acres of row crop land; two center-pivot irrigation systems; and a 12-inch water well yielding 1,200 gallons per minute. The site has 500 acres of forest land, which can be used for timber revenue and buffer space.

On-site buildings will resemble those on other research stations, said AAES Director of Outlying Units Greg Pate.

“This property was selected because it checked all the boxes,” Pate said. “As with every agricultural field in the state, there will be challenges, but the historical yield data for this site revealed fertile and productive soil with excellent water resources.”

AAES was founded in 1883 to conduct scientific, mission-oriented research to advance agriculture and forestry. The Autaugaville AAES location will bring the system’s total to 14 active research units. Researchers who work within AAES include those from AU’s colleges of Agriculture; Forestry, Wildlife and Environment; Human Sciences; Sciences and Mathematics; and Veterinary Medicine. 

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