South Texas Natives Research Farm
The South Texas Natives Research Farm is a five-acre facility located at the Tio and Janell Kleberg Wildlife Research Park. The property was made available for South Texas Natives during 2003. Existing facilities include five acres of land used for evaluation plots, seed increases, and other native plant research.
The farm is high fenced to exclude depredation from local wildlife. A drip irrigation system is used for supplemental watering at the plots. The 2,000 square foot storage and seed processing barn was built in 2006 to facilitate the project’s growth. The barn has custom built seed drying storage racks and boxes designed by the South Texas Natives staff and built by students from the College’s Agricultural Mechanics class. The barn also has a climate-controlled room where seed can be stored to avoid dormancy of seed stored in long-term cold storage. Equipment for planting, harvesting and maintenance of plots is housed at the barn when not in use in the field.
The irrigated farm has been the site of several important seed increases for various projects. Seed for the U.S. Highway 77 native grass demonstration planting project was produced at the farm. Production plots of slender grama, Texas grama, slim tridens, plains lovegrass, and sideoats grama were established and have been harvested for three years to produce seed for the project.
The South Texas Natives Research Farm is being used to conduct several long term evaluations of South Texas Natives’ releases, and evaluate several other species fo release. Other research conducted at the farm includes the evaluation of herbicide effectiveness, weed control strategies, tillage, and cultivation practices, and the use of various cover crops in production of native grasses in south Texas. Facilites at the research farm include a seed and equipment barn, greenhouse and a shadehouse.