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Research Farm History
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The Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm, Inc. is a non-profit organization consisting of a Board of Directors elected from each of 15 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in eastern South Dakota. Brookings, Codington, Clark, Day, Deuel, Hamlin, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Marshall, McCook, Minnehaha, Minor, Moody, and Turner Soil and Water Conservation Districts are represented on the Board of Directors. The purpose of the corporation is to promote research of efficient farm production practices that conserve soil and water resources.

The original appropriation from the U.S. Congress that funded the Northern Grain Insects Research Laboratory (now known as the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory) in June 1960 also funded the purchase of a 100 acre Soil and Water Conservation Research Farm near Madison South Dakota. This land was leased to the Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Research at this farm concentrated on the evaluation of erosion on different soil types, tillage practices to conserve soil and water, efficient crop production methods, and modeling plant-insect interactions.

In an effort to improve program efficiency and facilitate productive cooperative research programs that would more effectively solve some of the problems that are associated with agriculture in eastern South Dakota, the Board of Directors decided to relocate the research farm to a closer proximity to the research laboratories. The Madison research farm was sold in 1987, and the Corporation purchased another tract of land in Brookings County.

Combining Field Plots on the Research Farm

The new 80 acre Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm was purchased in 1989. This farm is located approximately one mile north of the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory and two miles north of the campus of South Dakota State University. In 1999, the Board of Directors purchased an additional 70 acres of land. The soils found on this farm are characteristic of those found in northeastern South Dakota and west central Minnesota and are similar to soils common to the northern corn belt.

The purpose of the Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm is to find solutions to national and regional concerns related to soil and water conservation and the efficiency and sustainability of agricultural production. Our goal is to conduct research and provide technology transfer in areas that are directly or indirectly related to clean water, clean air, soil stewardship, and sustainable agriculture. Research and technology transfer activities on the farm are conducted by a partnership including: USDA-Agricultural Research Service, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, South Dakota State University, South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, and Brookings County Conservation District.