OARDC Outlying Agricultural Research Stations
Western Agricultural Research Station

Western Research Station Impacts Flier

Corn, soybeans and hogs are important to farmers in the western part of Ohio, and so are the research and development projects arising from OARDC's Western Agricultural Research Station. The Western Agricultural Research Station is a 428-acre research facility located 4 miles north of South Charleston, Ohio, that was established in 1958. The predominant soil types include Brookston silty clay loam, Crosby silt loam, Miami silt loam, and Celina silt loam, which are typical of western Ohio. The Western Station is unique in the fact that it supports an intensive agronomic and specialty crop program and maintains a farrow to finish swine facility.

Agronomic and specialty crops are a major area of research here. Current research at Western involves corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, alfalfa, forage grasses, pumpkins, and sweet corn, which make up about 160 research projects annually. Experiments include variety evaluations of corn, soybeans, pumpkins, alfalfa, and forage grasses.  A number of studies are being conducted on carbon sequestration, trying to understand the impact of bio-energy crops and pasture plants to the inherit soil properties, and to understand the effect of soil compaction of different tillage methods on water infiltration and the effects on carbon sequestration.  A long-term study evaluating the effects of continuous corn on different tillage types, no-till, moldboard plow, and chisel plow, has been going on for over 45 years. As fertilizer prices continue to increase, nutrient management strategies in corn, soybeans, and wheat, are being evaluated to determine which rates and growth stage of the crop will give you the most economic return per acre.  These strategies are based on varying crop rotations, tillage methods, varying growth stage of the crop, and different sources/blends of fertilizer. Fungicides are being applied to corn and soybeans acres on an increasing rate each year.  Many growers are applying fungicides for plant health whether diseases are present or not.  Different classes of fungicides are applied to corn and soybeans at different growth stages to determine the best integrated pest management strategy, determine if there is crop injury, rate disease control, and see if there is an economic return to the grower. Weed control studies have long been an important part of the research at this station. Current weed control research at Western includes management of herbicide resistant weeds, integration of herbicide tolerant crops, and the continued evaluation of novel herbicide chemistry.  In recent years there has also been a larger focus on multi-state research programs that have included determining the critical period of weed control, cumulative stress on non-herbicide tolerant crops, and herbicide application timing in herbicide tolerant crops. The effects of insecticide compounds on corn and alfalfa are analyzed at the station.  Bt corn hybrids, commercially available insecticides and insecticide seed treatments, are evaluated by entomologists to reduce insect damage in field corn.  Newly released Bt corn hybrids and commercially available insecticides are evaluated by entomologists to reduce insect damage. In addition, alfalfa varieties with potato leafhopper resistance are tested, preliminary results are quite promising.  Many other forages are grown in various variety trials such as red clover, fescue, orchard grass, annual rye grass, sorghum-sudan, teff, and perennial ryegrass.


Extensive efforts are given to productivity and profitability of the pork industry. The primary focus is centered on the genetic improvement of swine.  Current genetics research focuses on pork quality and the impact of breed (Landrace, Berkshire, Saddleback) on quality of the pork products.  These projects are long-term in nature and are likely to be expanded to include work with Duroc in combination with the existing Berkshire population. Additional focus areas include space requirements for optimum performance in grower-finisher swine units; evaluation of nursery diets for early weaned pigs; farrowing crate designs and subsequent pig mortality rates; and multiple weighing of pigs from birth to 28 days of age. This establishes appropriate weight adjustment factors in early weaned pigs. In 1997, a livestock waste lagoon was constructed as a research and demonstration project. This lagoon is lined with fly ash, a byproduct of the flue gas desulfurization process used in coal-burning electric power plants. This product is being tested for its effectiveness and could be a replacement for clay or polyethylene liners currently used as impervious linings for livestock waste lagoons.


A new office complex for the Western Research Station was constructed in 2008.  This complex will provide new offices, a conference room, restrooms and locker rooms for men and women, lunchroom, machinery workshop, environmentally controlled seed storage room, and equipment storage.


For Investigators:  

   Labor Funding Agreement Form


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24hr Precip 0.12 in
2in Soil temp Avg. 35.2° F
Current Temp 32.5° F at 6:35:00 PM


3.5 miles northwest of South Charleston on SR 41 (Clark County, Ohio) Larger Map/Directions


7721 S. Charleston Pike
South Charleston, OH 45368
Phone: 937-462-8016


428 acres


Joe Davlin, Manager
Kelly Black, Manager-Animal Herd
Michael Tobias, Agricultural Technician
Tyler Mumford, Research Assistant 2
Zachary Grove, Research Aide

Online Project Registration Form
Ken Scaife, Assistant to the Director, Field Operations

Cathy Chenevey, Office Associate
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
228 Research Services Building
1680 Madison Avenue
Wooster OH 44691
Phone: 330-263-3771 FAX: 330-263-3710