Weed Science research began, in 1980, at the New Mexico State University's San Juan Branch Station (today known as the Agricultural Science Center - Farmington) located approximately seven miles southwest of Farmington, NM. The research facility encompasses 254 acres leased from the Navajo Nation and located on Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI) farmland within the Region 2 boundaries. The Station received all its irrigation from the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (NIIP). The water delivery system had been installed on approximately 170 acres of the 180 acres suitable for irrigation. It would be some years before a sprinkler irrigation system would be used on the weed control experimental plots.
The first year of chemical weed control research included several objectives, such as weed control in field crops using herbicides and other methods, control of perennial noxious weeds, herbicide screening and application rates on pinto beans and corn, weed control on ditch banks and non-crop areas and insecticide screening trial on corn earworm control. All Station chemical weed control research plots were furrow irrigated.
1986 was the beginning of the 'solid set' sprinkler system used on chemical weed control plots, at the Experiment Station. The aerial sprinkler system provided better control of irrigation depth per weed control plot for a more effective herbicide application and control response. The solid set irrigation system is still used today on the weed control research plots.
Over 25 years of weed control research has benefited the agricultural producers of the Four Corners Region and NAPI, "the largest contiguous farmland in the nation." Today, broadleaf weed control research is performed on crops, such as alfalfa, corn, dry beans, sunflowers and grass pastures with registered and non-registered herbicides. Results of weed control studies can be viewed in the NMSU ASC-Farmington Annual Progress Report.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has become more stringent with regard to research data required for pesticide approval. Thus, it has become critical that NMSU's Agricultural Science Centers work closely with commercial companies developing new pesticides, in order to obtain the research data required by EPA. This cooperation will benefit the agricultural industry of the state and assist EPA pesticide registration.
Research is funded by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) via the Hatch program, the State of New Mexico through general appropriations and various chemical companies. These funding sources plus the cooperation of agencies and industry are essential to the success of the weed science research program.
Serving the agricultural needs for the San Juan River basin of northwest New Mexico and the Four Corners region since 1966. The Agricultural Science Center at Farmington consists of 254 acres leased from the Navajo Nation. It is the only agricultural research facility, in the state of New Mexico, that is on the western side of the Continental Divide. The Center is located approximately seven miles southwest of Farmington, (36 degrees 4' N by 108 degrees W) at an elevation of 5,640 ft.