OSU Celebrates 125 Years of Continual Research Conducted on the Historic Magruder Test PlotsFri, 19 May 2017 16:20:53 CDT
At Oklahoma State University, Friday morning, Dean Tom Coon of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, offered some opening remarks at a gathering to celebrate 125 years of continual research being conducted at the Historic Magruder wheat plots, the third-longest running field trial in the United States, established and named for A.C. Magruder, the first professor of agriculture at then Oklahoma A&M College. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn was on location to speak with Dean Coon about the significance of this event, and its impact on Oklahoma’s agricultural industry.
“That’s momentous. That’s a long time,” Coon said in reference to the milestone of 125 years of active research. “But, I think more importantly, what it means is that we’ve had a long-running commitment to understanding the science behind crop production - going way back to 1892 here at Oklahoma State.
“It’s fun to celebrate that, but it’s also an opportunity for people to learn from that.”
The tradition behind these historic wheat plots and the volume of research and data that has been collected for more than a century, is a testament to the University’s mission, rooted in research and extension.
“It really is part of our land grant mission to be out there, to not only be studying and advancing our understanding of crop and soil science,” Coon said, “but then turning around and making that available to growers so they can make decisions about the varieties they choose, or whether to fertilize or whether to use fungicides on their crops and so on.”
And Coon says the work being with the Magruder plots is still just as relevant as it was when the research first began. He says the knowledge gained from these plots has directly fueled the no-till movement being promoted in the state over the last few decades, and continues today to provide farmers in the state with valuable information that helps them make informed management decisions for their operations.
“If you look at the no-till movement that we’ve had over the last 25-30 years here in Oklahoma,” he said. “That started with understanding what was going on here at the Magruder plots. And, today, those Magruder plots still remain sort of a checkpoint for us - a control if you will - as we compare what’s going on in neighboring plots, where we’re using no-till in order to conserve the soil.”
Listen to Dean Coon and Carson Horn talk on the important role the Historic Magruder Test Plots have had in shaping the management practices of farmers in Oklahoma for 125 years, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below, at the bottom of this story.
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