|Research Centers||Administration||Research Areas||News and Publications||Partners|
Crossville, DeKalb County, Ala.
Land Area: 536 acres
Soils: Hartsells fine sandy loam
Agriculture is the economic lifeblood of northeast Alabama’s rural Sand Mountain region, and for eight decades now, the Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center has played a key role in strengthening the area's farm sector.
The goal of SMREC research is to develop farm management practices that will help the region’s livestock, poultry, row crop and commercial vegetable producers—particularly small-scale farmers—to operate more efficiently, sustainably and profitably.
Manure and nutrient management — Use of broiler litter in crop production
Vegetables, fruits and berries — Evaluation of new cherry and grape cultivars for north Alabama
Pecans — Evaluation of new cultivars for north Alabama
Variety evaluations — Evaluation of new varieties of tall fescue, annual ryegrass and legumes as well as different varieties of corn, soybean, wheat, barley, oats, triticale and ryegrass
The Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center (formerly known as the Sand Mountain Substation) was established at Crossville in 1929 initially to investigate horticulture and truck crops, but studies in hog and poultry production gained the increasing attention of investigators in subsequent years.
The first management unit established at Sand Mountain Substation was a 96-acre farm that combined cotton production with hogs and production of the necessary hog feed crops. A cotton-dairy unit was added later. The substation served as demonstration farm in the 1940s and during the 1950s and 60s was the site for cotton mechanization work under leadership of Tom Corley.
Sand Mountain Substation was the site of an innovative approach to environmental protection in the early 1990s with the design and testing of artificial wetlands to filter waste water from a swine operation at the facility. A constructed wetland was effective in reducing the nitrogen and phosphorus levels of the swine lagoon water discharge. Success of this wetlands to filter waste water from a production unit provided pioneering results for use in agriculture.
Sand Mountain Substation was one of the first five substations established in Alabama by the legislature to create research facilities in five main areas of the State: Tennessee Valley, Sand Mountain, Black Belt, Wiregrass and Gulf Coast. Three of the five went into operation in 1929: The Tennessee Valley Substation at Belle Mina, the Sand Mountain Substation at Crossville, and the Wiregrass Substation at Headland. The remaining two, the Black Belt Substation at Marion Junction and the Gulf Coast Substation at Fairhope, began operating in 1930.
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