Research and Demonstration:
Cattle. The 400-cow purebred Angus herd has been selected since 1996 for increased marbling and is a valuable resource for the collection of phenotypic data for use in both short-term and long-term studies. This herd has served as the discovery platform to identify markers associated with not only growth and meat quality, but also animal disposition, resistance to respiratory and pinkeye infection, response to vaccination and fatty acid and mineral content of meat. Some outstanding offspring from this herd include a bull that is third in the American Angus Association active sire list for marbling and a significant number of Pathfinder cows, recognized by the association as elite individuals.
Forage. Researchers study yield and persistence of grasses, fertilizer requirements for hay and silage production, grazing management, intensive rotational grazing systems, pasture improvement and cool- and warm-season grass grazing systems. Researchers also conduct alfalfa variety trials and study methods for baling, binding and storing large round hay bales, year-round grazing system and stock-piled grazing.
Crops. Researchers evaluate reduced-tillage and reduced-chemical systems for controlling weeds and insects in corn and soybeans. Researchers also are evaluating systems of biomass production, measuring the energy values of crops for combustion and ethanol production. Tillage systems, strip-cropping and corn-breeding evaluation plots also are located on the farm.