Research Stations - Lower Coastal Plain Tobacco/Cunningham
Past research programs concentrated extensively in tobacco, official variety trials of tobacco, black shank prevention, tobacco diseases and pests. In our present tobacco program, small plot experiments now encompass Flue Cured, Burley, Cigar Wrapper and Dark Air-Cured production, harvesting techniques, drying, and marketing. Researchers are also doing research on Target spot, official variety trials, yield and quality of advanced breeding lines, hybrids, sucker control, weed control, pest management and effects of nitrogen rates on aromatic tobacco lines.
Additionally, our horticultural crops division includes a wide variety of crops. A large amount of research is conducted on sweet potato, watermelon, specialty melons, cantaloupe, blackberry, raspberry, squash, cucumbers, broccoli, and lettuce research. Projects include soil science, crop science, plant pathology, entomology and botany. Tests are performed to evaluate pest control, chemical efficacy, fertilization rates, yield & breeding trials, insect resistance, wire-worm studies, weed control, and fungicide usage for disease control.
Investigations on interactions of soil moisture and rotary hoe cultivation were conducted to benefit organic and conventional corn growers. This research required large plot sizes and was made possible by the availability of linear irrigation to simulate recent rainfall. The Lower Coastal Plain station has 60 shallow wells to quantify how variable rate nitrogen applications affect nitrate levels in groundwater. Other soil science studies involve fertilization and management of no-till varieties, germplasm development, & groundwater monitoring for Nitrogen. Lower Coastal Plains Tobacco Research Station along with Cunningham Research Station has an extensive small grains program which includes studies of fertilization practices, reduced tillage practices, disease and insect resistance, and yield / quality of advanced breeding lines. Official Variety Trials for corn, wheat and soybeans are also conducted on the station.