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The Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station closed on a new 904-acre property in Autaugaville May 16. The $5.15 million purchase was approved by the Auburn University Board of Trustees at its April 12 meeting.

The Experiment Station also will sell two properties that are no longer in use by either the Experiment Station or the university. The sale of the two properties will fund the purchase of the new Autaugaville property, and remaining funds will be used strictly for capital expenditures within the Experiment Station system.

“The purchase and development of the new Autaugaville property will enable us to expand row-crop research in the west-central region of the state. We also will be able to start an irrigation research center on this site,” said Paul Patterson, director of the Experiment Station and dean of the Auburn University College of Agriculture. “Data we maintain indicate that these are areas where this region needs more research activity from us. The new property will equip us to do that.”

The new Autaugaville property offers 400 acres of productive cropland and includes two center-pivot irrigation systems as well as a 12-inch water well yielding 1,200 gallons per minute.

“This property was selected because it checked all the boxes,” said Greg Pate, director of outlying units for the Experiment Station. “As with every agricultural field in the state, there will be challenges, but the historical yield data for this site reveal a fertile and productive soil with excellent water resources.”

The property also includes 500 acres of woodlands, which can be used for timber revenue and buffer space.

The new Autaugaville property was purchased from Dan Rhyne, a 1979 alumnus of Auburn.

The Experiment Station system currently includes 13 active research units around the state. The Experiment Station also includes Auburn faculty researchers housed within the university’s colleges of Agriculture; Forestry, Wildlife and Environment; Human Sciences; Sciences and Mathematics; and Veterinary Medicine.