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Border Belt Tobacco Research Station

Lloyd Ransom at the Border Belt Tobacco Research Station

Tobacco, peanuts and stevia are grown, studied and evaluated at the Border Belt Tobacco Research Station. Its 102 acres of fine, sandy, loam soil are ideal for testing crops and studying plant pathogens that cause disease in the Coastal Plains region of North Carolina. Research is conducted in the fields, a hydroponic greenhouse, a packhouse and 15 tobacco curing units.

What We Do


With a focus on flue-cured and burley tobacco production, scientists working at the station conduct applied research related to plant nutrition, crop physiology, greenhouse production, weed management, sucker control, organic tobacco production and pesticide residue quantification. The station also hosts variety evaluations, where many different varieties are grown side-by-side to see which is most suited to the environment and produces the best product.

Close up image of Burley Tobacco


North Carolina is a major producer of Virginia-type peanuts, and the light, well-drained soils at the station provide ideal growing conditions. Plant pathologists and soil and crop scientists at NC State work closely with peanut breeders, agronomists, entomologists and weed scientists to integrate the latest research findings into practical, sustainable strategies for peanut health management.

peanuts in field

Breeding a Better Stevia Plant

Three scientists looking at stevia in a greenhouse.
Along with collaborator Gabe Gusmini (left) and former graduate student Brandon Huber (right), Wehner examines stevia in an NC State greenhouse.

As interest in sugar alternatives has risen, so has farmers’ curiosity about a gangly shrub whose leaves are dried and crushed to extract no-calorie compounds used to make stevia. Scientists at NC State have been experimenting with ways to improve a plant that yields stevia.

On-site Weather

For more than 75 years, the Research Stations Division has worked with the National Weather Service (NWS) to provide accurate, statewide weather data. When you hear and see local and national weather reports, you can be sure meteorologists and climatologists use our stations’ information.

Border Belt Weather Station 

Contact Us

Border Belt Tobacco Research Station
Lloyd Ransom, Station Superintendent
86 Border Belt Drive
Whiteville, NC 28472-6828
(910) 648-4703

Border Belt Tobacco Research Station was established in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (NCDA&CS) Research Stations Division.