The Cunningham Research Station operates as one facility in cooperation with the Lower Coastal Plain Research Station and the Caswell Research Farm, all located in Kinston. The station features a conference facility for agricultural education and training meetings, horticultural and tobacco greenhouses, burley tobacco drying facility, flue-cured bulk barns, equipment sheds, chemical and pesticide storage buildings, and more than 250 acres of field crops. Scientists across disciplines—including crop and soil science, horticulture, plant pathology and entomology—conduct research on a variety of crops to advance modern agricultural practices.
What We Do
Researchers at the station tackle myriad projects focused on tobacco-related to variety evaluation, plant nutrition, crop physiology, greenhouse production, weed management, organic tobacco production, and pesticide residue quantification.
Hemp has a lot of similarities to tobacco, nutrient demand, soils, and curing process, and North Carolina tobacco farmers are well-positioned with the land, equipment and infrastructure to grow it. NC State researchers conduct field tests to help establish best practices for growing fiber and CBD hemp varieties, keeping it free from pests and disease, and optimizing production while reducing expenses.
Corn, Soybeans, Small Grains
Researchers investigate field crop diseases to provide precise disease management strategies. Using next-generation technologies, they are able to sustainably manage crops and improve the biological understanding of economically important pathogens.
As part of a 23-state project, NC State and USDA researchers at the station explore how cover crops impact insects, weeds, water use, soil nutrient levels and ultimately the yield of major cash crops such as corn, cotton and soybeans. Cover crops commonly grown in the off-season include rye, clover, winter peas and radishes.
North Carolina is the number one producer of sweet potatoes in the nation. NC State scientists are on the front lines when a new pathogen, like black rot, threatens sweet potato crops. Through pathogen research and field trials, they develop integrated management strategies to mitigate disease and avoid devastating crop epidemics.
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 are using information gathered from our stations.
Tobacco Field Day
The NC State Tobacco Field Day (formerly Tobacco Tour) will be held at the Cunningham Research Station in Kinston. Make plans to attend for updates in agronomy, insect and disease management, and curing/mechanization.
Sweet Potato Field Day
TBD. North Carolina leads the nation in the production of sweet potatoes, and N.C. State University is considered a national leader when it comes to research and extension education related to the crop. Participants will hear about such topics as development of new varieties and the latest in weed control and insect management issues. And they will even have the chance to sample sweet potato beer and chips.
Pollinator Field Day
TBD. Bees, butterflies, moths, and other beneficial insects provide valuable ecosystem services through pollination. Spend a day in the field with education, research, and field-based experts to see how you can help pollinators.
Cunningham Research Station
Phillip Winslow, Superintendent
200 Cunningham Road
Kinston, NC 28501-1700