Overview

New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari, located on U.S. Highway 54 three miles northeast of Tucumcari and Interstate 40, Exit 333. In operation since 1912, the center consists of 464 acres, with 170.9 acres having surface water rights. Historically, the center's mission included performance bull testing, developing forage and grazing systems for irrigated lands in the western USA, and the evaluation of crops and cropping systems for local adaptation. Prior to conducting research in irrigated agriculture, the center evaluated dryland cropping systems and trees for windbreak and farmstead plantings, the latter of which led to the establishment of over 50 species of trees and shrubs on the center grounds, making it an oasis of trees in a sea of native grassland. In 2012, the center entered into an agreement with the city to reuse treated municipal wastewater for irrigation.

An advisory committee of farmers, ranchers, and business people meets with center personnel on an annual basis to review ongoing projects and to provide direction for future research. Irrigated pasture grazing trials are a large portion of the center's research effort. A variety of small plot studies are used to evaluate annual and perennial forages (grasses and legumes) for local adaptation and performance. Cultivar performance evaluations are conducted on alfalfa, corn, sorghums, cotton, and other crops. The center is actively involved in monitoring cotton boll weevil populations in the local area. Center personnel are involved in the local introduction of microscopic mites for biological control of field bindweed. Research projects are showcased at an Annual Field Day that is held in early August.

The Tucumcari Bull Test, which encourages beef herd improvement by the use of performance tested bulls, has been an integral part of the center's activities since 1961. Since its inception, this annual testing program, has evaluated approximately 5,000 bulls for gainability and other measures of production efficiency. A Performance Tested Bull Sale is held annually on the third Friday in March.

The Center is located three miles northeast of Tucumcari on US Highway 54.