An Opportunity to Grow

The Graves-Chapple Research Center, in Rock Port, Mo., has been looking to expand their operations, in terms of land, for several years.

The Graves-Chapple Research Center will rent an additional 110 acres from Morris Heitman, the current Missouri Corn Growers Association president. Heitman already leases around 45 acres to Graves-Chapple.The Graves-Chapple Research Center will rent an additional 110 acres from Morris Heitman, the current Missouri Corn Growers Association president. Heitman already leases about 45 acres to Graves-Chapple. Photo by Logan Jackson.

Graves-Chapple Superintendent Jim Crawford said more land leads to more research. That opportunity is finally here.

Graves-Chapple will rent an additional 110 acres from Morris Heitman, who already leases land to the Research Center.

“For years, we’ve been kind of landlocked as far as what we could do,” Crawford said. “We were out of space. We had opportunities to do more research, we just didn’t have any room for them.

“This land is going to give us the opportunity to write more grants and do more research.”

Graves-Chapple was already renting around 45 acres of land from Heitman, who is the current Missouri Corn Growers Association president. The new acreage gives them more than 150 acres on the west side of Interstate 29 on the Missouri River bottom.

“Morris has been a strong supporter over the years,” Crawford said. “He’s helped us on a lot of things in the past.”

Crawford said they are currently studying the land. He doesn’t want to begin research or plant plots without understanding the acreage.

“We’ve been around it, but we’re still learning about it,” Crawford said. “I’ve done some soil sampling and walked it this spring – but we’ll mainly farm it this year to familiarize ourselves with how it lays. We want to make sure we understand the land before we start putting a bunch of trials out there.”

Crawford has already planted soybeans on the new land and has a couple of population studies ready to go.

“Large plots of research have been tough for us to do,” Crawford said. “We now have the room to do it. It’s really going to enhance our ability to provide some good data on a lot of the projects that people are asking us for. We’ve already been able to add three more projects this year that we’d had to put off because we didn’t have enough room.

“I’m excited by the potential. I think we’ll be able to be a lot more efficient. We’ve got a lot of things moving in the right direction.”