Scott Rogers Superintendent
Southwest Research and Education Center

Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center

108 Experiment Street, Plains, Georgia 31780

Contact us

SWREC Field Day


Video Tour of the Center


Our Work and Priorities

The 512-acre Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center is located near Plains, Georgia. Established in 1951, the station’s purpose was to stimulate the rural economy by helping area farmers diversify and increase crop yields in the upper coastal plain region.

The facility has heavy red clay soil that is sometimes difficult soil to farm but can be highly productive when carefully managed. Research here is geared to the 240-day growing season and an average annual rainfall of 48 inches. Current research focuses on every major row crop in south Georgia: peanuts, cotton, corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, wheat and canola. The center now has some form of irrigation on at least 90% of the cropland to maintain crops during the area’s frequent droughts.

Six full-time employees maintain research for college and USDA researchers. The employees also partner with the nearby Sumter County Extension office.

About us


We investigate the latest production and technological practices, striving for producer profitability and sustainability.
Research and Education Centers (RECs) are hubs for innovation and discovery that address the most critical issues facing agricultural production throughout the state. Ultimately, our findings are shared with stakeholders through the extension and outreach efforts of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
D.W. Brooks lecturer Ismahane Elouafi is the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's first chief scientist. Her talk, “How science, technology and innovation can accelerate the transformation of our agri-food systems,” will be hosted on Zoom at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 2. CAES News
FAO chief scientist to highlight ag technology in 2021 D.W. Brooks Lecture
Chief scientist of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Ismahane Elouafi is set to deliver the talk at this year's D.W. Brooks Lecture and Awards, which will be held virtually Nov. 2. Elouafi’s lecture, “How science, technology and innovation can accelerate the transformation of our agri-food systems,” will highlight the advancement of e-agriculture and it’s benefits for farming around the world.
Robin Buell, who recently joined the faculty in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as the GRA Eminent Scholar Chair in Crop Genomics, has been at the forefront of genomic research, having been involved in sequencing the first plant genome, Arabidopsis, and the first crop genome, rice. CAES News
GRA Eminent Scholar awarded prestigious national genetics prize
University of Georgia plant geneticist Robin Buell has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 McClintock Prize by the Maize Genetics Cooperation (MGC) Advocacy Committee (MGAC) for her groundbreaking work in plant genome structure, function and evolution.

CAES Events

FABricate is an entrepreneurial pitch contest where students develop their idea for a new food product, new agricultural technology, new food or agricultural-related business or new environmental or sustainable business. Students can expand their leadership and business skills through this competition where they’ll develop an idea for a new food product, agricultural business or environmental opportunity. Learn more at this informational meeting about how to possibly win $10,000.
Oct 20
6:00PM - 7:00PM FABricate Information Session Zell B Miller Student Learning Center, ATHENS, GA
Isabel leads the Texas A&M Potato Breeding Program. The goal of the program is to develop high-yielding potato varieties, mainly for the fresh and chipping markets, adapted to Texas growing conditions. She combines conventional and molecular tools to enhance the efficiency of potato breeding efforts and to maximize genetic gains from selection. Isabel Vales received her Licentiate Degree (and Degree Thesis) in Biological Sciences (specialization in molecular biology) from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 1992, and her Doctorate in Biology (maize breeding and genetics) from the University of Vigo, Spain (1996) in collaboration with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). She worked as Post-doctoral Research Associate (maize genetics) at the University of Minnesota from 1997 to 1998. From 1999 to 2005, Research Assistant Professor (cereal genetics) at Oregon State University. From 2005 to 2010, she led the Oregon Potato Variety Development Program (Associate Professor - potato breeding and Genetics) and the Oregon Potato Foundation Program. From 2010 to 2012, she was Principal Scientist (pigeonpea breeding and genetics) at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India. She worked as an Independent Scientific Advisor from 2013 to 2016 in Washington State and joined Texas A&M in 2017. Isabel participated in the release of more than 24 potato varieties, including specialty types with high levels of antioxidants, and published more than 70 referee papers. She has been active in undergraduate and graduate teaching (potato production, plant physiology, molecular breeding) and training. Seminar Location: CAGT room 128 Athens; and via zoom at Tifton and Griffin campuses. Note: Zoom meeting ID will be sent out prior to the seminar.
Oct 21
4:00PM - 5:00PM IPBGG SEMINAR: Development of Climate-change-ready Potato Varieties to Overcome Heat Stress by Dr. Isabel Vales Center For Applied Genetic Technologies, ATHENS, GA
Guest speaker Dr. Haley Oliver, Professor of Food Science at Purdue University will present Food Safety - Local Grocery Stores to Informal Markets Around the World on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 10 a.m. via Zoom. All are invited. 
Oct 27
10:00AM - 11:00AM Food Safety - Local Grocery Stores to Informal Markets Around the World https://zoom.us/j/7457247689
See More Events
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Butterfly Trail Board of Directors

The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail Board of Directors recently meet at the Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center in Plains, Georgia on Friday, July 23, 2021 to discuss the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail landscape project. Pictured front row: LeAnn Smith, Mrs. Rosalynn Carter; back row: Julia Snipes, Willie Maxwell, Ernest Koone, Lonnie Wise and Annette Wise.


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Book signing with Rosalynn Carter

Grace Wooten with Ragan-Smith Associates, Inc of Chattanooga, Tennessee and 2016 UGA Landscape Architecture graduate (pictured right) receives a signed gardening book by Rosalynn Smith Carter. The new garden for the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail will be a 1930s era garden based on Mrs. Carter memories of her childhood garden.