Artist's rendering of new ARS research and
administration center dedicated today in Ft. Collins, Colo. Click the image
to view larger version.
New ARS Facility Dedicated in
Colorado By David
April 20, 2004
FORT COLLINS, Colo., April 20--The
Agricultural Research Service dedicated a
new research and administrative building today on the grounds of Colorado State
Research Center. The new facility is home to three ARS research
laboratories: the Soil-Plant-Nutrient
Research Unit, the Water Management
Research Unit and the Great Plains
Systems Research Unit. ARS is the chief scientific research agency of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"This building will allow ARS scientists to work in
state-of-the-art laboratories on campus with their CSU collaborators," said ARS
Acting Administrator Edward B. Knipling.
Some 120 ARS employees will work in the new 100,000-square-foot
building. The employees previously worked in separate buildings throughout Fort
Collins. In addition to the research staff, the new building houses employees
of ARS' Northern Plains Area Office
and the agency's new National Software Support Center.
The building is one of four constructed by the
General Services Administration on the CSU
campus for use by USDA and U.S. Department of
Interior agencies that deal with natural resources issues.
Scientists in ARS' Soil-Plant-Nutrient Research Unit study ways
to improve efficient use of plant nutrients in irrigation systems. They
investigate how agricultural management practices affect nutrient cycling and
plant nutrient uptake by crops, and they study agricultural systems to improve
soil, water and air quality and protect the environment by lowering greenhouse
At the Water Management Unit, scientists study precision
agriculture--the technique of farming specific areas of a field based on soil
and water characteristics and weather. Farmers who use precision agriculture
are likely to save money by the more timely and reduced application of both
water and chemicals, resulting in improved water conservation, water quality
protection and weed control.
Scientists in the Great Plains Systems Research Unit have
developed several computer models to help farmers and others make decisions
about farming practices. Agricultural producers and researchers can enter
information about their farm, and the model will estimate possible outcomes on
a wide range of topics. For example, the system will recommend how much
fertilizer should be used to obtain optimal yields, or whether tillage or
no-tillage systems would be best for that farm.
Other ARS labs located in Fort Collins, but not part of the new
complex, include the National Center
for Genetic Resources Preservation, the
Sugarbeet Research Unit, and several
researchers affiliated with ARS' Rangeland
Resources Research Unit at Cheyenne, Wyo.