Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm



O'Brien County

Directions: 11 miles north of Cherokee on U.S. Highway 59 and a quarter mile east on County Road B-62.

Northwest Research Farm 
6320 500th Street
Sutherland, IA 51058

(712) 446-2526


272 acres


Northwest Iowa Experimental Association


The association purchased two tracts, 37 acres in Lyon County and 75 acres in O’Brien County, in 1954. In 1989 and 1990, the organization purchased additional land, 60 acres in Lyon County and 152 acres in O’Brien County. The original tracts have been sold. Development has continued with the purchase in 2001 of 120 acres adjacent to the O’Brien County farm. The Lyon County site is no longer used for plot research.


Terrain is nearly level to gently rolling and is well drained. The soils are loess derived. Predominant soils are:

2-5 percent slope, well drained, occurs on uplands and gentle slopes

1-3 percent slope, moderately well to moderately poorly drained, occurs on broad ridges

Research and Demonstration: 

Crops. Scientists study fertilizer requirements of corn and soybeans in different crop rotations and corn yields under various planting and fertilization rates and moisture conditions.
Tillage. Researchers compare ridge-till, no-till and conventional tillage methods to determine the effects on crop yield, pest control and soil compaction. Plots are used to study the effects of tillage and manure application on runoff water quality.
Soils. Researchers assess soil fertility and management systems. Agronomists evaluate nutrient requirements of area crops and apply nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and lime to observe crop yield response. Ag engineers study water quality using an intensively instrumented set of plots and drain tiles.

On-Farm Research
The farm is the hub of an on-farm research program that conducts research projects in local farmers’ fields.


The farm is the hub of an active on-farm research program that conducts research projects in local farmers’ fields.

Farm Reports