Home About Us Research People & Places News & Events Careers Contact Us Help

Your are here: About Us/

About CSRL
Location Information
Cropping Systems Research Laboratory
3810 4th Street
Lubbock, Texas 79415
Phone: 806-749-5560
Fax: 806-723-5272
Cotton Production & Processing Unit and Livestock Issues Research Unit
1604 East Farm Road 1294
Lubbock, Texas 79403
Phone: 806-746-5353
Fax: 806-744-4402
USDA Service Center
302 West I-20
Big Spring, Texas 79720
Fax: (432)-263-3154
CSRL History

The Cropping Systems Research Laboratory contains one of the oldest centers established for agriculture research. The CSRL unit in Big Spring was established in 1915 and specialized in dry land crop rotation, dry land crop tillage, cotton gin trash to decrease erosion, and wind erosion measurements. Six years before the Agriculture Research Service was established as an agency the scientists in Lubbock, and Big Spring were already dedicated to agriculture research benefiting west Texas. Rex Colwick was the first USDA employee to arrive in Lubbock in 1947. Three years later Elmer Hudspeth, Emitt Holekamp, J.D. Bilbro, and Buddy Kirk. The first permanent ARS offices in Lubbock County were located at the Texas A&M substation No. 8 located at Acuff Road and Idalou highway. In 1960, Lubbock ARS employees moved to the Texas A&M Agriculture Research and Extension Center located on FM1294 north of Lubbock. A metal barn built in 1961 housed the AERD Cotton Mechanization laboratory, the first CSRL laboratory.

The employees of the CSRL were in for a surprise. In 1963, a proposal was sent to members of congress and the ARS administrator for the location of a Great Plains Soil Moisture Conservation Research Laboratory. However, fifteen years rolled by before the ARS acted on the proposal. In 1978, a feasibility study was granted for the Plant Stress and Soil Moisture Conservation Laboratory. Then in 1985 Texas Tech University and the USDA-ARS signed a lease for a Soil Moisture and Plant Stress Laboratory. Two years later in 1987 an appropriation of a Plant Stress and Soil Moisture Conservation Lab was authorized. Thirty-six years after the idea of a laboratory in Lubbock, Texas had been conceived the dream became a reality. The ground breaking for the Plant Stress and Water Conservation Laboratory was held in 1999. The Cropping Systems Research Laboratory currently houses three separate locations in Big Spring and Lubbock, four research units, one hundred and fifty employees, thirteen administrative staff, thirty-two scientists and associates from Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

The Livestock Issues Research Unit was founded to conduct research to determine how stress affects the physiological and behavioral responses of livestock and how stress induced alteration in immune responses relate to pre-harvest food safety; to develop management practices and alternative production systems that reduce animal pathogen loads prior to processing and enhance animal well being. Current projects include Bioinformatics cluster.

The Cotton Production and Processing Unit was established to enhance the production and processing of cotton. Research includes seed cotton cleaning and extracting improvement by adding improved stick extractors, equipment requirements for various cottons, reduced cotton losses, capacity relationships, fine trash removal, field cleaners and belt dryers for seed cotton and Easiflo cotton seed, starch coated cotton seed, verses uncoated fuzzy cotton seed, the measurement of drying and humidification rates of lint trash and cottonseed, the commercial power roll gin stand, and boll weevil survival during harvesting modeling and storage. Current projects include digital hydro-mulch coverage management, converting gin trash in to hydro mulch, and a moisture sensor for cotton bales, cyclone design and dust emissions, gin trash byproduct uses including livestock feed, fertilizer, and fuel.

During the 1980’s an ARS biochemistry lab was established on Texas Tech campus to identify genetic diversity in cotton root vascular bundles. The scientists of ARS began imaging crops above using a spectral radiometer and below using the mini-rhizotron, pioneering field research on photosynthetic responses to water deficits. The Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Unit was established 1985. The laboratory reported the first report of an accumulation of the high temperature protection “heat shock proteins” in field grown plants. In 1988, James Mahan discovered that the temperature dependence of plant enzymes reflect optimal temperatures for growth and development and identifying techniques were developed for optimal enzyme activity in crops. Linked laboratory developed thermal kinetic window for use with irrigation scheduling. Cotton transformation and regeneration were developed. Current projects include cotton pollen hypersensitivity to water that is shown to lead to flower sterility and yield reductions, genomics databases released to the public, essential elements identified in the development of “ARS synthetic promoters” for use in genetic engineering, tools have been developed to aid in identifying genetic diversity in plant responses to stress, genetic diversity in acquired thermo-tolerance is characterized and protection mechanisms identified studies of native desiccation tolerant species revealed genes involved in both cell protection and repair during drought, and BIOTIC (Biologically Identified Optimal Temperature Interactive Console) was developed to manage irrigation of plants/crops by analyzing the results of the biology of the plant and the physics of the environment.

The Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Unit wind tunnel research provided insights in to the physics of wind induced soil particle movement. In March of 1996 scientists at the USDA-ARS Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research Unit began measuring dust concentration at the Lubbock Lake Landmark State Historical Park. A near surface sampler to sample near surface flow of wind blown material from three different heights was designed. The WEWC unit also developed the revised Wind Erosion Equation.

Last Modified: 6/24/2014
CSRL Home |  ARS Home | USDA.gov | Policies & Links
FOIA | Accessiblity Statement |  Privacy Policy |  Non Discrimination Statement | Information Quality |  First Gov | White House