Skip to main content
Close Search

SDSU Field Stations

Agricultural research means economic development for South Dakota

As a land-grant institution, South Dakota State University, home to the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, has an enduring mission of practical, responsive research to help improve the farms and ranches, businesses, and lives of South Dakotans. Research often starts on the SDSU campus. But for the science to ultimately reach out to real-life needs, researchers also work on SDSU research stations strategically located across the state.

SDSU Antelope Range and Livestock Research Station

At 8,300 acres, the Antelope Range Livestock Research Station is the largest of SDSU’s research stations. Initially a state antelope preserve, the land was transferred to SDSU in 1947 for research into the balance between cattle and sheep production and protection and renewal of range resources. Rangelands and pasturelands support most of the 1.7 million cows and heifers in South Dakota and most of the 285,000 breeding sheep. Research at this station focuses on management strategies designed to improve beef enterprise sustainability and sheep production on rangeland. Multi-state sheep research is frequently conducted at the Antelope station and North Dakota State University’s research station at Hettinger.

12990 Park Rd.
Buffalo, SD 57720
Contact: Kristi Cammack

SDSU Cottonwood Range and Livestock Field Station

Rangeland accounts for 59% of South Dakota’s land area. The SDSU Range and Livestock Research Station is in the heart of our state’s rangeland. For nearly 100 years, work at this station has focused on cow-calf management and range research. Recently, scientists addressed water quality issues during persistent drought. SDSU scientists now use this 2,640 acre facility as a heifer development station. Heifer care and management during the first year of production have great impact on the lifetime productivity of the animal, and this research will help future generations of ranchers increase the overall profitability of their herd.

23738 Fairview Rd.
Philip, SD 57567
Contact: David Gay

SDSU Oak Lake Field Station

The Oak Lake Field Station is a 570 acre facility located in the heart of the Northern Plains on the Coteau Des Prairie. Grassland, oak forest, wetland and lake environments located at the field station display the natural diversity of the prairie pothole region. The field station hosts university research focused on biofuels development, biodiversity of prairie communities, fire ecology, prairie pothole and stream ecology. Facilities on-site also service environmental education, university field courses, conferences, colloquia, retreats and community service events.

19862 483rd Ave.
Astoria, SD 57213
Contact: Nels Troelstrup

SDSU Dakota Lakes Research Station

The Dakota Lakes Research Station, the newest of SDSU’s research stations, focuses on both irrigated and dryland crop research. The Dakota Lakes Research Station is managed as a no-till farm. 240 of the 840 acres are devoted to irrigation. Irrigation allows scientists to compare and evaluate varieties, as well as comparing and evaluating management practices. It also allows scientists to do breeding work in both high- and low-moisture environments at the same location in the same year. The station’s field day, held the last Thursday in June, has been listed as one of the, “10 most exciting field days in the nation” by a major farm magazine.

PO Box 2
Pierre, SD 57501
Contact: Dwayne Beck

SDSU Northeast Research Station

The Northeast Research Station is the smallest of SDSU’s research facilities. Size, however, is no measure of the importance local farmers place on the research results from this 80-acre station. Research here has always emphasized crop breeding and solutions to pest-related problems. Throughout the growing season, local producers stop by regularly to judge the side-by-side performance of small grain, row crops, and alfalfa varieties, and to check the effectiveness of numerous herbicide and fertilizer treatments and other agronomic practices. Most of the research at this station is of an applied nature – science that can quickly be put to work on neighboring farms.

15710 455 Ave.
South Shore, SD 57263
Contact: Howard Woodard

SDSU Southeast Experiment Station

The Southeast Experiment Station focuses on production agronomics in the heart of South Dakota’s corn and soybean country. It consists of 550 acres of dryland row crops, small grains, and forages, and annually feeds nearly 1,000 head of beef cattle and swine. The combination of crops and livestock makes this research station unique among the SDSU research stations, allowing scientists to take a systems approach much like those on diversified farms in the area. For example, field peas studied by agronomists looking for alternative crops may also be fed to cattle and hogs by animal scientists seeking new feed sources. This station is often the final testing ground where producers see and evaluate new technology before adapting it to their operations.

29974 University Rd.
Beresford, SD 57004
Contact: Peter Sexton

SDSU West River Agricultural Research & Extension Center

The West River Ag Center provides a West River home for SDSU’s teaching, research, and Extension programs. Its mission is to enhance the profitability of agriculture and the quality of life for South Dakota citizens by conducting research relevant to western South Dakota and by delivering educational programs for young people and adults. Staff members conduct research at the SDSU Antelope Range Livestock Research Station and the SDSU Range and Livestock Station and on individual cooperator operations throughout western South Dakota. They also provide a constant SDSU presence in support of events at the Black Hills Stock Show, Central States Fair, Western Junior Livestock Show, and other West River events.

1905 Plaza Blvd.
Rapid City, SD 57702
Contact: Kristi Cammack