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Sandhills Research Station

This 570-acre site in the Windblow community of Montgomery County—with its deep, sandy soil—provides opportunities to conduct field experiments that help growers improve quality and increase the yield of crops produced in the sandhills region, which includes Moore, Richmond and Montgomery counties.

Scientists from NC State University come to this station to investigate drought tolerance, crop fertilizer requirements and other factors that provide cost- and labor- efficient ways to produce fruits, vegetables, feed grains, ornamentals and high-quality turfgrass.

What We Do

Peaches and Other Fruit

NC State researchers working at the station have developed more than 20 varieties of peaches. Researchers study ways to control diseases, weeds and insects. They also use the station to evaluate optimum management practices such as pruning, thinning, irrigation and tree fertility.

Researchers also evaluate blackberries, raspberries and blueberry cultivars at the station, particularly looking for their adaptation to the sandhills region and overall productivity.

Sunlit peaches hanging from leafy branches.

Field Crops

Uniform, deep sandy soils of Sandhills Research Station are ideal for evaluating drought resistance in many crops. Scientists working out of Sandhills Research Station released a new drought-tolerant variety of soybean in 2015, which will increase soybean yields due to improved drought tolerance. More varieties are in the research pipeline.

The research station is also used to conduct tests on small grains including, rye, wheat and sorghum in sandy soils. Cotton is grown at the station to screen breeding lines for hardiness and drought tolerance

Close up of dry, golden soybeans in a field.


Turfgrass research plots are maintained to mimic golf courses such as the nearby Pinehurst Resort, as well as athletic fields and home lawns. Researchers study the environmental impacts of turf; control of pests such as insects, weeds and diseases; cultural evaluations such as traffic tolerance and mowing height effect on turf quality; and the impact of heat and drought stress on weed competition and turf vigor.

Turfgrass breeders use variety trials to determine the adaptability of different cultivars for our local climate and soils.

Close-up cross section of piled up sod.

Low-Cost Cameras Remotely Monitor Crop Stress

Researchers from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Education, led by postdoctoral research scholar Paula Ramos-Giraldo, have worked together to construct a low-cost camera system to monitor crop stress remotely. Their StressCam will aid researchers, plant breeders and ultimately farmers.

A small white box on PVC pipe poles over plots of soybeans in sandy soil.
A StressCam, a low-cost camera system to monitor crop stress, over a field of soybeans at the Sandhills Research Station. Sensor systems like these could inform proactive interventions to prevent crop loss instead of reactive management practices.

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 are using information gathered from our stations.

Sandhills Weather Station 

Contact Us

A large white sign in front of a lone building reads: North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, Sandhills Research Station.

Sandhills Research Station
Jeremy Martin, Station Superintendent
2148 Windblow Road
Jackson Springs, NC 27281-9505
(910) 974-4673