Stephen "Rusty" Collins

Superintendent - Tidewater Research Station

207 Research Station Road
Plymouth, NC 27962-9526
PHONE: (252) 793-4118 / 4428
FAX: (252) 793-5968

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The Tidewater Research Station was established in 1943 in Washington County to serve a large area of North Carolina lying between the Coastal Plain region and coastal North Carolina. It replaced the Blackland Test Farm near Wenona, established in 1912. This region of North Carolina has expanded rapidly in agricultural enterprises during the past 35 years. Extensive land clearing and drainage occurred in this region from the early 1960s to the 1980s, and the need for research grew with increased crop acreage. The station concentrates primarily on research involving grain and swine production — the major focus of agriculture in the area.

The station is on 1,550 acres — 840 acres of woodland, 525 acres of cropland, 100 acres of pastures, and 95 acres in ponds, buildings, roads, and related areas.


The station is home to the Vernon G. James Research and Extension Center, a 32,000 square-foot facility houses research and extension specialists in the swine, beef, soils, entomology, plant pathology, crop science, horticulture science, as well as related staff. Seven modern research laboratories and a conference center seating over 300 people are also part of this facility. The TRS and Vernon James Center have been upgraded to fiber optic internet and wi-fi across the station.

Community Partnership

The uniqueness of soils and climate in this area offers tremendous potential for crop, vegetable, and livestock production. Strategically located to stimulate vegetable production, the station serves the commercial Irish potato growing region of North Carolina. Current research involves field crops, horticultural crops, soil, water, livestock, and aquaculture. The extensive system of canals, open ditches, and drainage tile on the station have demonstrated how low-lying, undeveloped land could be made productive and has served as a pattern for area landowners. New extension faculty member added in Ag and bio engineering to work with producers in the areas of irrigation and drainage, as well as working with NCSU forestry department on establishing genetic trials to understand how deliberate flooding impacts managed forests productivity and management strategies. A new modern swine research facility is planned to be built in the next 3 to 5 years.

In addition to the ongoing research programs that support area landowners and agriculture in the tidewater region of the state, the state plays an important role in the local community.


The Tidewater Research Station hosts many education and training events annually. The onsite greenhouse facilities provide tours to local groups and schools. Annual events include a Farm Safety Day and an Organic Field Day.





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