Skip Navigation


Research Stations

Oxford Tobacco Research Station

Fred Smith

Research Operations Manager

Station Information

Map w/ Directions (pdf)

Area Weather

On-Site Weather

Brochure (pdf)

Fact Sheet (pdf)

Get Driving Directions



300 Providence Road; P.O. Box 1555
Oxford, NC 27565-1555
PHONE: (919) 693-2483
FAX: (919) 693-6848

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture established the Oxford facility in 1910 to research problems related to tobacco production. Scientific investigations targeted tobacco fertility requirements, cultural practices and insect and disease control. The first flue-cured tobacco varieties with resistance to bacterial wilt, black shank and root-knot nematode were developed at this research station. Over the years, significant contributions to tobacco curing, plant bed management, fertilization, cultural practices, and disease/insect control have been made.

In 1964, the USDA expanded its tobacco research at Oxford. This expansion included building glass greenhouses, a headhouse with laboratories, an insect-rearing building and a new laboratory. The current mission of the research station continues to be to increase tobacco and crop production efficiency, tobacco quality, and to identify crop management systems that conserve and protect water From 2007 until operations ceased in 2013, the former USDA station served as the headquarters for the Biofuels Center of North Carolina.

In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly allocated funds to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to support bioenergy development.  The N.C. Bioenergy Research Initiative was created to facilitate research and development of forestry and agricultural based feedstocks, agribusiness development, and cooperative research for bioenergy production. While staff is housed at the Oxford Tobacco Research Station, the Initiative coordinates research at numerous field locations statewide, focusing on crops for use as feedstock for biobased industries.


The Oxford Tobacco Research Station consists of three separate tracts of land totaling 426 acres. There are about 110 acres of cropland with the rest used for woodlands and infrastructure. In 2005, USDA transferred all of their research facilities to NCDA&CS. In addition to research, lab and office structures, the station includes small bulk tobacco barns used for curing, a pack house used for storing and sampling tobacco, several equipment storage sheds, plastic greenhouses, a mechanical shop, and a facilities maintenance shop.

Community Partnership

The Oxford Tobacco Research Station has been an important part of the community since its establishment in 1910. The station has provided a location for local tobacco growers to visit and learn about the newest varieties and technologies. Changes in the tobacco industry have provided the research station an opportunity to expand programs into different research areas. Farmers have become interested in specialty crops involving vegetables, blueberries and brambles. The establishment of these crops on the research station provides a convenient location for events such as tours and field days to share new technologies.


NCDA&CS Research Stations Division, Kaleb Rathbone, 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

How can we make this page better for you?
Contact the NCDA&CS

Found a bug? Have a suggestion? Fill out the form below and we'll take a look!

Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Question or Comments:

Back to top

Get Email Alerts

Stay up to date with NCDA&CS. Sign up to receive the latest news and upcoming events via email.