University of Missouri-Columbia
MU Bradford Research and Extension Center
Agricultural Experiment Station
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Driving directions
Columbia, Boone County



Contact us
Randy Miles
302 Anheuser Busch Bldg
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-882-6607


Sanborn Field was initiated in late 1888 by Dean J. W. Sanborn to demonstrate the value of crop rotations and manure in grain crop production. The field, located on the University of Missouri campus, has undergone several changes since 1888. This brochure outlines the latest of these changes which were put into full operation in 1991.

The changes made in 1914 introduced commercial fertilizer on the field and reduced the number of plots receiving manure. Limestone was introduced in 1928 along with increased rates of nitrogen (N). Some minor changes were made in 1940. Dr. George Smith developed a plan for a major shift in the field operations in 1949. This new plan was put into effect in 1950 and remained the guide for operations through the 1989 crop season.

The emphasis on the field started out and continues to be on soil properties affected by the alternative management schemes. The field has been managed by a sequence of faculty soil scientists initially in the Soils Department then the Agronomy Department. The reorganization of the College of Agriculture into the 6 unit College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources in 1990 saw Sanborn Field become a facility under the Agricultural Experiment Station managed by a faculty soil scientist in the Department of Soil and Atmospheric Sciences within the Natural Resources Unit (and The School of Natural Resources).

The Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station is the research arm of the
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
at the University of Missouri

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