Rows of corn in test plot Whitetail deer Chestnuts

Piedmont Research Unit

Camp Hill, Tallapoosa County, Ala.
Land Area: 1,409 acres
Soils: Pacolet loam and Cecil sandy loam

A four-mile-long, eight-foot-high, fixed-knot steel fence constructed in 2007 at the Piedmont Research Unit in Camp Hill completely encloses 430 of the unit’s acres, and that land plus the deer that were on it when the final section of the fence went up comprise what has been dubbed the Auburn University deer lab.

In an exhaustive, multidisciplinary long-term study of the lab’s 40 captive white-tail herd, researchers will generate detailed information on deer biology and behaviors that is expected to significantly impact the scientific management of deer.


Research Emphasis Areas

Wildlife — Whitetail deer biology


History

The Piedmont Research Unit (formerly known as the Piedmont Substation) was established on 1,409 acres in 1945 in Tallapoosa Country near Camp Hill, Ala., to provide additional land for pasture and forage crops research.

The Piedmont Research Unit’s soil types offered opportunities for research to serve a unique farming area and over the years research has been conducted on field, forage and horticultural crop production and beef cattle farming. The substation was the site for a dairy demonstration unit in the 1940s

In the 1990s, results of a 13-year study produced in-depth information about more than 60 native and exotic trees.

Emphasis on wildlife management in more recent years has offered support for landowners interested in cashing in on the strong demand for hunting opportunities. Research over the past 75 years has resulted in the release of six new Chinese chestnut varieties that will yield a continuous high-energy food source for wildlife.

The Piedmont Substation was one of the five substations established in Alabama during and a few years after World War II: Upper Coastal Plain in 1944, Piedmont Substation in 1945, North Alabama Horticulture Substation at Cullman in 1948, Chilton Area Horticulture Substation at Clanton in 1948 and the Lower Coastal Plain Substation at Camden in 1948.

History adapted from the following publications:

Kerr, N.A. 1985. A History of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station: 1883-1983. Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama.

Yeager, J. and G. Stevenson. 2000. Inside Ag Hill: The People and Events That Shaped Auburn’s Agricultural history from 1872 through 1999. Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama.

Last Updated: October 13, 2011

Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station | Auburn University | Auburn, Alabama 36849 | ☎ (334) 844-2345 |
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