History and Mission

The 512-acre Southwest Georgia Research and Education Center is located near Plains, Georgia. The center was established in 1951 when local citizens deeded 453 acres to Sumter County and later to the University System of Georgia. 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. Irrigation was started to be added in the mid-1980s. The center now has some form of irrigation on at least 90% of the cropland to maintain crops during the area’s frequent droughts.

The station has an 80 x 100 foot 3 Bay Shop, two enclosed machinery sheds and three open machinery sheds. Six full-time employees maintain research for college and USDA researchers. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How large is the facility?

The SWREC is just over 520 acres with one superintendent and five full-time employees. The center also collaborates with the Georgia Seed Development on 100 acres of land. 

What research is conducted here?

Research is conducted on almost all crops that are grown in the southwest region of the state. This includes peanuts, corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat, forages and some canola.

How many projects and staff are involved?

On average, there are 15 to 20 researchers doing up to 100 different projects.

Do UGA scientists only conduct research?

Primarily only UGA researchers conduct research here, but occasionally outside researchers work on projects as well. The center also works closely on projects with the Georgia Seed Development. 

How can I arrange a visit?

Contact our office at (229) 824-4375 or email at swgeorgia@uga.edu to schedule a visit.

What are SWREC's hours of operation? 

Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.