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OSU’s historic Magruder Plots centerpiece of May 19 wheat field day

Monday, May 15, 2017

Wheat growers will be descending on Stillwater for Oklahoma State University’s May 19 Magruder Plots Field Day, picking up the latest research-based information while also honoring one of the great achievements of agriculture in the Southern Plains states.

The event is free and open to the public. It will take place at the OSU Agronomy Research Farm just west of the main Stillwater campus, long a landmark for people traveling eastward into the community on Highway 51. Participants are asked to RSVP if staying for the sponsored lunch by contacting the OSU department of plant and soil sciences online at

“Named for and begun by A.C. Magruder, the first professor of agriculture at then Oklahoma A&M College, the wheat plots are the third-longest running field trial in the United States,” said Brian Arnall, OSU Cooperative Extension precision nutrient management specialist.

Originally planted in the fall of 1892, the plots were established to obtain information on the ability of the soil to continue to produce good yields of wheat without fertilization.

“Researchers have conducted hundreds of experiments comparing various fertilizer treatments, with and without such treatments,” Arnall said. “The plots quickly became the center for wheat soil research in the region and have provided constant data through the decades that has helped farmers get maximum yield from their wheat crops.”

The field day will begin at 8 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts being served. Opening comments will be provided by OSU President Burns Hargis; Tom Coon, OSU vice president of agricultural programs and leader of the university’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; and Robert L. Westerman, DASNR emeritus assistant vice president and retired agronomist.

Station tours will begin at approximately 9 a.m. Topics and session leaders will include:
● Agricultural engineering and agronomy projects, led by Randy Taylor, OSU Cooperative Extension assistant director and agricultural engineer;
● Long-term studies in understanding soil health, led by Jason Warren, OSU Cooperative Extension soil and water conservation specialist;
● Improving Oklahoma forage systems, led by Alex Rocateli, OSU Cooperative Extension forage systems specialist;
● Mitigating drift and spray tank contamination, led by OSU Cooperative Extension small grains weed specialist Misha Manuchehri, OSU Cooperative Extension cropping systems specialist, and John Long, DASNR biosystems and agricultural engineer;
● History of the Magruder Plots and data gathered over 125 years of research, led by Bill Raun, OSU Regent’s professor and holder of the university’s Walter R. Sitlington Chair in Agriculture; and
● The future of soil fertility management driven by past knowledge, led by Arnall.

The OSU Agronomy Research Farm is part of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system, one of two state agencies administered by DASNR.

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