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Bradford Research and Extension Center aerial view

Each year 34 MU and USDA-ARS faculty members in various disciplines establish more than 25,000 plots at the Bradford Research Center (BREC). Many of these plots are the standard four row-10' x 25' plot whereas others may be a single plant or group of plants that are often used in genetics or physiology.


examining forage crops

In recent years BREC has taken an active role in wildlife management with an emphasis on Bobwhite Quail Management in a Modern Agriculture setting. One such project is examining alternatives to standard forage crops that are beneficial for wildlife and livestock.

mixing plants for sustainable biofuel production

Biofuels research is "hot" right now and BREC is teaming with the Missouri Department of Conservation and the USDA-NRCS to develop mixes of native grasses, forbs, and legumes that will provide sustainable biofuel production that is wildlife friendly and can be used by livestock.



rainout shelters

A recent addition to BREC are the Rainout Shelters where researchers across many disciplines can study drought and heat stress. These buildings actually move over the designated area within 70 seconds when as little as 0.02 inches of rain occurs. This research is important as MU researchers lead the way to the 2nd Green Revolution.


The main emphasis of the research at BREC is:

    applied research for the farmer

  • 60% applied: Research that can be used directly by the farmer. This includes crop production, weed and other pest control, forage production, horticulture and soil fertility.
  • genetics and breeding research

  • 30% genetics and breeding: Development of new varieties of wheat, soybeans, corn and forages with emphasis on increased quality, yield and nutrition.
  • new discoveries in agriculture

  • 10% basic: The backbone of new discoveries in agriculture, though several years away from actual farm use. Examples include plant protection, plant physiology/genomics and molecular biology.


There is exciting research in the future that includes work with algae and salt water shrimp, Organic Agriculture, Biofuels, and Environmental Sciences as well as renewed interest in cover crops.

Research at Bradford Farm