Scott Rogers Superintendent
Southwest Research and Education Center

Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center

108 Experiment Street, Plains, Georgia 31780

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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.
Graduate student Moira Taber using a pipette to sample fluid in a laboratory biosafety cabinet. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA) CAES News
UGA continues R&D ascent with $571M in expenditures in FY23
For the second consecutive year, the University of Georgia exceeded half a billion dollars in research and development expenditures. Its $570.9 million total in fiscal year 2023 represented another record high in R&D activity and marks the fifth consecutive year of growth for the university. Expenditures have increased, in fact, in all but one year since 2013. During that 10-year period, the university has seen an overall 63% increase in total R&D expenditures.
Abhinav Mishra and colleagues in UGA's Department of Food Science and Technology will use risk assessment models to identify which environmental and farm practice factors contribute to the food safety risk of fresh, organic food. CAES News
UGA food scientists build toolbox for organic growers to address food safety concerns
University of Georgia researchers in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are part of a $3.5 million grant designed to assist organic producers in meeting both National Organic Program standards and food safety requirements. UGA food scientists will survey farms in the Southeast to determine the risk of contamination in organic crops by different environmental pathogens.

CAES Events

UGA Center for Food Safety Webinar Series       Challenges & Opportunities of Nanopore & Smart Sensing in The “New Era of Smarter Food Safety” Guest speaker: Dr. Boce Zhang, Assistant Professor of Food Microbiology at the University of Florida Date: Wednesday, Feb 28 Time: 1:30 p.m. ET Zoom:  https://zoom.us/j/92519907093?pwd=OCtiWWV5SXZ4S04vWmIzSnVWcXdxdz09  Hosted by Dr. Xiangyu Deng, Associate Professor About Boce Zhang: Dr. Boce Zhang is an Assistant Professor of food microbiology, at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Food Science and Human Nutrition Department. Dr. Zhang received his B.S. in Chemistry from Tsinghua University in 2008 and a Ph.D. in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Maryland in 2012. Before joining UF, he was an ORISE fellow at the USDA and then an Assistant Professor of biomedical and nutritional sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Dr. Zhang's research interests focus on food safety and food microbiology. His research integrates multi-omics, machine learning, nanotechnology, and biointerface science to study the mechanisms of pathogen persistence. His lab also harnesses interdisciplinary platforms to develop new surveillance toolkits and intervention strategies to mitigate microbial food safety risks.    
Feb 28
1:30PM - 2:30PM Challenges & Opportunities of Nanopore & Smart Sensing in The “New Era of Smarter Food Safety” https://zoom.us/j/92337556448
Join us to learn more about the factors that affect the quality of your forage and enjoy a delicious meal! Exact location will be determined but it will be in the Madison County area. Cost is $10 and registration closes at 5pm on February 27, 2024.
Mar 01
12:00PM - 1:00PM Lunch & Learn: Factors That Affect Forage Quality
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butterfly-trail-board-of-directors

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.


rosalynn-carter-signing-book

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.