Academics

Center for Conservation Research

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Formerly known as the USDA/NRCS Conservation Research Project

Established in 1989
Largest C-factor databank on horticultural crops in the world

About Us

Alcorn State University, established in 1871, is the oldest among all 1890 land-grant universities in the U.S.A. The university is committed in improving the standard of living of farmers and residents of Mississippi through teaching, research and extension. The university’s main campus is located in the southwestern region of Mississippi, and it enjoys the subtropical climate. The Center for Conservation Research Project is located on the main campus and crops are raised on Memphis Silt Loam Soil (Typic, silty, mixed, thermic Hapludalph), coming under the order Alfisols. Alcorn State University entered into a cooperative agreement with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1988 to conduct a special study of plant and residue parameter values for fruit and vegetable crops for erosion prediction models including USLE, RUSLE, WEPP, WEPS, etc., and nutrient management, and conservation planning. Faculty members and scientists of the Department of Agriculture,1862 and 1890 land grant universities, USDA/NRCS, USDA/ARS and US Army are involved in this research program, and they advise the graduate students in agronomy, horticulture, environmental science, and agricultural economics. As the Conservation Research Center applies the latest technology in erosion prediction models, nutrient management, and conservation planning, students graduating with thesis work will have excellent job opportunities and great future.

 

Goals

Conduct C-factor (cover and management) research on horticultural crops for erosion prediction, nutrient management, and conservation planning, and to prevent  soil erosion and climate change

  • Perform conservation research on organic and no-till production, fruit and water quality, and C:N ratios and crop residue management
  • Enhance  the farmers knowledge of nutrient management  from animal waste and plant residues thereby reducing the purchase of chemical fertilizers
  • Increase production and reduce material cost by application of organic manures (animal and forest waste) and avoid ground water pollution
  • Enhance the lives and lifestyles of farmers by increasing their net income


Mission

We provide sound leadership on crop production by applying the latest technologies while protecting the natural resources and environment based on state and federal policies.

 

Vision

We want to be recognized at national and international level as a dynamic agricultural research organization that has the capacity to provide integrated scientific program required to support the needs of the swiftly growing population of the world.

 

Achievements

Information generated from the  research center is used around the globe for erosion prediction, nutrient management, conservation planning, and to prevent soil erosion and climate change

  • Generated more than 130,000 reading on 37 crops
  • Copies of  the technology transfer bulletin on C-factor research, developed by the center in collaboration with USDA/NRCS and USDA/ARS, have been sent to all libraries of 1862, 1890, and 1994 land grant universities and also to other non-land grant universities offering agricultural science. Copies of this bulletin have been sent to all state conservationists in 50 states. 
  • More than 80 papers, including abstracts, leaflets, pamphlets, and bulletins, and articles in journals and proceedings  have been published, and presented more than 50 papers at regional, national, and international level. Entire data has been submitted to the USDA National Soil Erosion Research lab (NSERL), Purdue University, Indiana, and USDA National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  • More than 50 students have been trained and most of them have been hired by USDA/NRCS
  • Technical notes on more than 30 crops have been published in collaboration with USDA/NRCS
  • The center has developed conservation farming techniques to raise blueberries on heavy soils in collaboration with the Thad Cochran Southern Horticulture Research Laboratory
  • The center has succeeded in developing organic farming systems to increase the yield and antioxidant content of blueberries on heavy soils.
  • The HBCU Media Advocacy, Inc., selected the center as one out of the six best research centers of the 108 HBCUs in the nation in 2013.


Research scientists and Staffs involved

  • G.K. Panicker
  • S.C. Tiwari
  • P.E. Igbokwe
  • L.C. Huam
  • O.P. Vadhwa
  • F.O. Chukwuma
  • C.A. Sims
  • A.H. Alhumadi
  • G.A. Weesies
  • J. Bunch
  • D.E Stott
  • A. Johnson
  • J. Silva
  • F.B. Matta
  • J. Spiers
  • M. Manoharan
  • J. Garner
  • T. E. Collins
  • C. Timothy
  • G. Salazar


Research Collaborators

  • USDA/NRCS
  • USDA/ARS
  • Mississippi State University
  • The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
  • The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  • Oklahoma State University
  • New Mexico State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Alabama A&M
  • West Virginia State University
  • US Army
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