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Missouri research field celebrates 130 years

Abstract image of diagonal lines from soybean plants in rows in field in early summer, shoot from drone directly above ground

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources has celebrated the 130th anniversary of an agricultural research field.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the Sanborn Field has helped create some of farming’s best practices. The 3-acre field was originally founded in 1888 to study crop rotation and how fertilizers affect crop production.

Tim Reinbott is the assistant director of the Agricultural Experiment Station, which runs Sanborn. He says researchers implement 21st-century practices on 19th-century fields.

Parts of the field are frozen in time for agriculture research, including nine plots from the field’s original study. Some areas have never been treated with herbicide, while other areas have only had crops harvested by hand or with small tractors.

Reinbott says research at the field reduces the cost of food for average consumers.