Upper Piedmont Research Station
Research Operations Manager
|1944 Wentworth Street
Reidsville, NC 27320-7302
PHONE: (336) 349-8347
FAX: (336) 634-5697
The Upper Piedmont Research Station was created on rented land in Rural Hall in 1948. In 1954 the donation of Chinqua-Penn Plantation led to the current home of the UPRS. The UPRS currently consists of 835-acres of land and adjoins the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H center that consists of 250 acres.
The UPRS is the only research station located in the old-belt tobacco production region. The upper piedmont of North Carolina consists of steep slopes, clay soils and a lot of land well suited for grazing cattle and cow/calf production. The UPRS conducts research on flue-cured and burley tobaccos, cow/calf production is studied using a herd of registered black angus cattle, horticulture crops such as wine grapes, strawberries and brambles as well as forestry products such as Paulownia trees are being studied.
The UPRS consists of 835 acres of which over 300 acres is productive pasture and grass lands, over 135 acres is used for crop production and rotations, there are approximately 300 acres of mature hardwood trees and another 100 acres of soft woods that will be used for expansion of pasture and crop land. The station is located adjacent to the historic Chinqua-Penn Mansion. There are many historic structures located on the station such as a large sale barn, historic log horse barns and a 200-foot long stone dam. A newly constructed building fitted with 54 Calan gates is being used to study beef cattle efficiency. Newly constructed curing sheds have allowed the station to shift research from fluecured to burley tobacco production practices, in efforts to study alternative and innovative means of producing burley tobacco.
The Chinqua-Penn Walking Trail is 1.5 miles, and is continually maintained. It winds along the borders of the station and the plantation grounds. The trail is free and open to the public. Τhe UPRS is the only station in the system that hosts a local farmers market. The Rockingham County Farmers Market is used by local farmers to sell produce, crafts and art. Plans for the future include using the market to test market new crops being grown at other research stations. The UPRS station also maintains the Chinqua- Penn education and nature trail. The trail is used for recreation, education and community involvement. The trail has been used for fundraising walks for the MS Society and the local Hospice chapter.
The UPRS hosts the N.C. Angus Association’s Spring Fever Sale each year in May. In 2008, the station hosted the first annual 'NC Research Stations Female Cattle Auction' where cows from the research stations will be sold. The event was held again in 2009 and wth the succes of the first two years, it will continue as an important event.