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Umstead Research Station

Originally a dairy farm utilized to feed the John Umstead Hospital, the
Umstead Research Farm is now primarily a research site for beef cattle. The
4,800-acre site’s cropland and pastures host research plots to study invasive
weeds and cattle, and produce hay for other research stations, including
nearby Butner Beef Cattle Field Laboratory and the NC State College of
Veterinary Medicine. Forestry is a big part of the Umstead Research Station as
we partner with USDA on multiple research studies from pine genetics, timber
management, watersheds, and biofuels. This station also works with NCSU Department
of Applied Ecology on ponds and aquaculture research.

What We Do

Beef Cattle

Researchers conduct studies related nutrition, physiology and breeding in beef cattle to better understand how to produce high-quality, marketable beef. They employ forage management for cattle grazing so that the cattle harvest the forage themselves, reducing the need for dedicated hay production.

Cattle grazing

Wildflowers and Conservation

300 acres of the Umstead Research Station are preserved as a protection area for the endangered smooth coneflower and a 1,600-acre tract around Lake Holt is preserved under a conservation easement.

Image of a endangered smooth coneflower

Forestry and Crops

Researchers utilize two tracts of forestry land in a comparative study to determine best management practices related to surface runoff following logging. The station also hosts crop variety trials for corn and sorghum.

Hand holding seeds

The Buzz About Native Bees

Hannah Levenson, a graduate student, in a field of sunflowers, while conducting a survey of native bees throughout North Carolina.
Hannah Levenson, a graduate student, is studying how much state-mandated pollinator plots at North Carolina research stations support native bee populations.

Hannah Levenson, a graduate student in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, is using North Carolina’s research stations to survey native bees and study how wildflowers support native bee populations.

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.

Umstead Weather Station 

Contact Us

A lush green pasture at Umstead Research Station

Umstead Research Station
Greg Shaffer, Station Superintendent
8800 Cassam Road
Bahama, NC 27503
(919) 471-0007

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