From the school’s beginnings, agronomic research has always been conducted on or near the University of Illinois. From 1876 to 1931, most field research was conducted on what we know as “campus proper.” This involved work on the Davenport Plots (sacrificed in 1930 to allow the expansion of Goodwin Avenue), which were located directly east of the Morrow Plots. From 1920 to 1936, the Department of Agronomy used the land west of the stadium to the Illinois Central tracks.
The development of the present research farm traces back to the turn of the 19th century; field operations began here in 1903. The original Agronomy Farm consisted of the 80 acres directly south of the Seed House, completed in 1930. Since then, the area, which became known as the South Farms, has expanded slowly but steadily to its present 1,300 acres. The Seed House still serves as the headquarters for farm operations.
In 1984, the farm operations of the Department of Agronomy were combined with those of the Department of Plant Pathology. In 1995, the college reorganized, merging those two departments into one: the Department of Crop Sciences. The research facility received a new name at the same time: the Crop Sciences Research and Education Center (CSREC).
The CSREC mission is to provide land, equipment, and facilities for plant and soil research in a field laboratory setting close to campus. The center provides scientists and extension personnel a central place from which to plan, coordinate, and conduct field research. It supports on-campus teaching with field laboratory facilities for graduate students and by educating undergraduates through work and field trips.
Extension and international agricultural efforts are strengthened by organized field days, specialized tours, and training sessions to meet the needs of the agricultural community. Agronomy Day creates a vital connection between the agricultural grower, the consumer, and the research scientist.
The first Agronomy Day was held on June 27, 1957, with the same objective as the one you are attending today—to communicate research results that benefit our constituents.
Enjoy your visit today. We invite you back at any time to view ongoing research projects.Sincerely,
Agronomist and Superintendent
Crop Sciences Research and Education Center