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Research Stations


Central Crops Research Station

Keith Starke

Research Operations Manager

Station Information

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On-Site Weather

Brochure (pdf)

Fact Sheet (pdf)

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13223 US Business 70 West
Clayton, NC 27520-2128
PHONE: (919) 553-2141
FAX: (919) 553-2142


The land for Central Crops Research Station was purchased in December 1953 to replace the McCullers Branch Station, which was located in Wake County. The 523-acre Central Crops Research Station is located 20 miles from the main NCSU campus and hosts a wide range of plant breeding programs that require frequent visits from campus staff. The station hosts an ECONET weather reporting station that feeds onsite data to the State Climatology Office headquartered at the Raleigh campus of N.C. State University and to the National Weather Service offices in the region. In addition to the ECONET tower, the National Weather Service installed a 700 watt doppler radar tower that can detect severe weather conditions within a 250 mile radius. The station celebrated 50 years of agriculture research in September of 2006.

The Central Crops Research Station has played a significant part in field research and numerous scientific achievements including the release of new varieties. Research is conducted on corn, cotton, soybeans, tobacco, grain sorghum, small grains, sweet potatoes, strawberries, watermelons, squash, apples, peaches, peppers, hops, hemp, basil, cucumbers, cucubrits, winter cover crops, forage crops, speciality melons, and swine. The agricultural research projects continue to change to reflect the needs of our society and to address new challenges within the agricultural community.


The station encompasses 72 buildings or equipment sheds, including two greenhouses, one each for tobacco and weed science research. Specialized facilities for seed processing, seed storage, seed and biomass drying, and curing of tobacco and sweet potatoes. Vegetable Pathology Building was constructed in 2018 that houses a mini packing line for sweet potato and vegetable research.

Community Partnerships

The Central Crops Research Station hosts a wide range of plant breeding programs which are labor intensive and require frequent, if not daily, visits from N.C. State University researchers. The station host a unique swine research facility, horticulture, weed science research, soil borne pathogen research, and long term tillage research in cotton.The station serves as a teaching platform for undergraduate field trips, labs for undergraduate and graduate classes and continuing education, with more than 1200 visitors each year. The conveniently located station allows graduate students to conduct hands-on field research while maintaining a full academic schedule. The CCRS research program changes each year but remains committed to supporting the scientists and students of N.C. State University. In 2015 a new Teaching orchard was established on the station for use by NCSU students, extension agents, local schools and industry for teaching Tree Fruit and Nuts establishment and management.

The station also supports education programs at the local level. Various groups, from high school environmental teams to continuing education programs for professionals with the N.C. Department for Environment and Natural Resources utilize the permanent soil pits and the station’s unique soil profiles to learn about soil and water interactions. In addition, groups from local public and private schools visit the station to learn about agriculture and its future.

CCRS plays host to a variety of events annually such as the Teacher’s Workshop in July, the Tree Fruit and Nuts Pruning and Training Demonstration in late January and Yield by Objective training for the National Agricultural Statistics Service. and Agent Training for NC Cooperative Extension Agents in various crops and vegetable pathology.

NCDA&CS Research Stations Division, Teresa Lambert, Director
Mailing Address: 1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1001
Physical Address:2 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3236   FAX: (919) 733-1754

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