The Rogers Farm is located 3.5 miles from the UMaine campus in Orono, making it a convenient location for students and faculty. The farm is bordered to the west by interstate 95 and to the east by the Stillwater River. Current research areas include organic cereal production and nutrient management, ecological weed management, forage and oilseed production, and integrated pest management in potato, sweet corn, and mixed vegetables.
History of Rogers Farm
Rogers Farm was purchased by The University of Maine in the spring of 1947, as additional land to grow forage for the University’s dairy herd. The need for more land was the result of rapidly increasing student enrollment and new building construction during the postwar years. There was also a need for acreage in the Orono area to conduct research on forage crops and small grains; approximately 11 acres of the farm were set aside for crop research.
In the early years, research at the farm included extensive studies in the growing and managing of alfalfa and other forage crops. Plots were also used to evaluate new varieties of field corn, oats, wheat, barley, and soybeans. Another project of widespread interest was the search for ground cover for highway planting to stabilize new grading. For several years, research was conducted on the effect of soil moisture stress on tuber formation in potatoes. These studies were useful to growers who were interested in irrigating potatoes.
The Rogers Farm was also home to some very early studies of organic farming practices. Frank Eggert, Professor of Horticulture, examined vegetable crops’ responses to organic compared to inorganic fertility sources in a series of experiments starting in 1977. Today, land east of Bennoch Road is managed organically and is used for a wide range of teaching, research and outreach activities.