Research Stations - Cherry Research Farm
Crops Research Program
Center for Environmental Farming Systems
The Center for Environmental Farming Systems is dedicated to the development of farming systems that are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. CEFS staff, in a unique partnership with North Carolina farmers and citizens, study and demonstrate an array of technologies, and strive to integrate them into sustainable farming systems. A goal of the CEFS program is to help develop a profitable agriculture system that provides a clean environment and safe, high-quality supply of food and fiber.
Approximately 600 acres used for producing agronomic crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat. These rotations are used to provide feed for our livestock operations and conduct applied research. Research projects included a variable rate nitrogen application study and silvaculture project to integrate high value trees into a cropping system. An Organic Research Unit is being established to manage organic land and develop a guide for other Research Stations and farmers wanting to diversify into organic grain production.
Research encompasses about 200 acres to study five different types of systems including three agroecosystems. The systems are: (1) Best management practices (BMP) in a conventional cash cropping system, (2) An integrated crop-animal system, (3) An organic cropping system, (4) A plantation forestry system and (5) A successional ecosystem. Each system is replicated three times and four of the five systems contain subplots. For example: the BMP system is split into till and no-till subplots while the forestry system has four sub-plots representing four different tree species.
Small Farm Unit
Small Farm Unit is comprised of about 30 acres which provide small farm stakeholders with a systems thinking in a whole farm model. The goal of the SFU is to provide research and demonstration of sustainable production and marketing practices to a diverse audience utilizing resources of N.C. A&T State University, N.C. State University, N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and other community partners. Research efforts at the SFU include organic systems work, season extension, organic transplant production, small fruits production, pastured meats, grafted tomatoes, and cover crop/no till systems.