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About CPRL

The Conservation & Production Research Laboratory (CPRL) is part of the Agricultural Research Service , an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture , located in the Southern Plains Area. CPRL is operated in cooperation with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Amarillo ) , which is part of the Texas A&M University System and its College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at College Station, TX.

Dr. N. Andy Cole, Acting Lab Director
USDA-Agricultural Research Service
Conservation & Production Research Laboratory
P.O. Drawer 10
Bushland, TX 79012
(806) 356-5748
(806) 356-5750 (fax)
andy.cole@ars.usda.gov (e-mail)
2300 Experiment Station Rd. (shipping)

Mrs. Lynnette Lott, Administrative Officer
(806) 356-5726
(806) 356-5750 (fax)
lynette.lott@ars.usda.gov (e-mail)

LABORATORY MISSION

The mission of the Conservation and Production Research Laboratory is to provide technology for sustainable production systems in an unpredictable, harsh semi-arid climate that optimizes the use of water, soil and nutrient resources. The Soil and Water Management Research Unit conducts basic and fundamental research to improve crop productivity and water use efficiency in irrigated and dryland agricultural cropping systems through advanced irrigation technologies, improved irrigation management, and crop residue management through tillage and cultural agronomic practices that conserve soil and water, improve soil physical and quality conditions, sustain the soil resource, and enhance water quality. The Renewable Energy and Manure Management Research Unit evaluates and develops technologies for the utilization of animal manures through nutritional, microbial, and land application studies to decrease the potential environmental hazards of feedyard dust and feedyard runoff and to reduce food safety risks. Renewable energies are used to provide water for livestock and for supplemental irrigation of crops by developing wind and solar pumping systems. These objectives are achieved through research activities of a multidisciplinary staff organized into two research units: (1) Soil and Water Management and (2) Renewable Energy and Manure Management.

IMPORTANT FACTS

  • Established in 1938 to study wind erosion and dryland cropping.

  • Irrigation research started in 1949.

  • ARS established in 1953 and took over control of facilities.

  • Animal research started in 1976.

  • Wind energy research started in 1976.

  • Station area: 1,600 ac.

  • Station elevation: 3,800 ft.

  • Mean rainfall: 18.5 in.

  • Predominate soil: Pullman clay loam.

  • Water table depth: 240 ft and dropping!

  • Located in the center of 4 million irrigated acres in the Texas High Plains.
    50% surface irrigation
    50% sprinkler irrigated (mainly center pivots)
  • Located in the center of the U.S. cattle feeding industry.
    25% of all cattle on feed are within 150 mi. of the lab.
  • Located in one of the most windy areas in the U.S.
    Average annual wind speed at 33 ft (10 m) is 12.8 mph (5.7 m/s)
  • Located in the center of more than 10 million acres of dryland crops and rangelands.