SWROC’s agricultural land and resources are used for both research and general crop production to support the center’s operations. We currently have 700 acres in ag production, of which 120 acres are USDA certified organic. The organic alfalfa, corn and oats produced at the SWROC are shipped to the WCROC in Morris for use in their organic livestock production.
Additional unique infrastructure and resources at the SWROC include:
- Water drainage system - Our drainage infrastructure consists of waterways, terraces, and subsurface tile. The entire system is designed to direct the water into 4 constructed farm ponds and is used on numerous drainage water management projects
- High tunnels - We currently have 3 high tunnels on site; 2 organic and 1 conventionally managed. High tunnels are arched structures with plastic sheets covering the frame and vents on the side. High tunnels differ from greenhouses in two ways: 1) supplemental light is not used, and 2) plants are nearly always grown in the soil. High tunnels extend the growing season in Minnesota by allowing crops to be planted and harvested both earlier and later in the growing season. They also protect plants from environmental stresses and lower the amount of pressure from diseases, insects and weeds. For more information on high tunnels, visit Minnesota High Tunnels.