|Research Centers||Administration||Research Areas||News and Publications||Partners|
Belle Mina, Limestone County, Ala.
Land Area: 755 acres
Soils: Decatur and Dewey silt loam
The Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center is located just north of the Tennessee River, a stone’s throw from Interstate 65, right in the heart of Alabama’s top cotton-producing region and directly on the cutting edge of cotton research. Though TVREC research projects frequently target corn, soybeans and wheat, cotton claims the lion’s share of attention, and it is for its cotton research that the center is nationally recognized.
The TVREC was an early convert to precision agriculture technologies and today has a full inventory of global positioning system–based equipment that includes autosteer tractors, yield monitors and light-bar guidance systems.
Cotton — Variety evaluations and long-term fertility tests; sprinkler (overhead) irrigation, subsurface irrigation and fertigation; disease and nematode management
Variety evaluations — Cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat
Precision technology — Evaluation of geospatial navigation tools for efficient application of plant nutrients
The Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center (formerly known as the Tennessee Valley Substation) was established in 1929 in Belle Mina and immediately began studies involving poultry, corn, cotton and truck crops. The station’s later work focused on pasture development as livestock became increasingly important in north Alabama.
The station was the site for dairy demonstration units in the 1940s and during the 1950s and 60s was the site for cotton mechanization work under leadership of Tom Corley. Work on irrigation began in 1986 with the installation of an irrigation facility to study techniques needed by the farming industry.
The Tennessee Valley Substation was one of the first 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