Hand holding corn cob

Agronomy Research

The current field crop research at the Spooner Agricultural Research Station is diversified.

Current research crops include corn, soybeans, alfalfa, forage grasses, switchgrass, barley, and oats. Previously, the potential of specialty crops such as canola, sunflowers, potatoes, kura clover, wheat, rye, lupines, spearmint, and matua has been researched.

Research topics include: variety evaluation, planting date and plant population effects on yield and quality, forage seeding rates and mixture, disease control, fertilizer rates & products, soil pH effects and weed control methods.

Crops and Soil

Extension specialists and educators provide timely resources and information to help Wisconsin crop producers and their agricultural consultants manage crops efficiently and profitably.

Pink Lily in bloom

Display Garden

This garden is a joint effort between the Spooner Agricultural Research Station, operated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service and area UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteers. It’s purpose is to demonstrate perennial and annual  plants that are suitable for growing in zone 3.

Ask an Agricultural Question

Have an agriculture issue? Ask the experts, provide pictures, and fill out the easy-to-use form.

The Washburn County Ag – Research Center is your local connection to all the latest of University of Madison’s research. It is located in Spooner, WI.

We cultivate our programming to cover Agriculture, Soil Quality, Crops, Farm Management, and Horticulture to provide education and responds to the needs of our community. We also work to provide resources that promote economic and environmental sustainability in Wisconsin.

  • In Washburn County, 3/4 mile east of the intersection of 253-63 and 70 on Hwy. 70. 1/2 mile west of the 53 & 70 intersection on Hwy. 70. Get Directions.
  • Distance to Madison – 260 miles (4.5 hours, all 4-lane highway)
  • Nearest City – Spooner, 3/4 mi. Lodging and services available
  • Nearest Airport – Shell Lake, 8 miles south. Latitude – 45 degrees 49 min. Longitude – 91 degrees 53 min
  • Elevation – 1,090 feet (332 meters)

History of the Research Station

The Spooner Agricultural Research Station was established in 1909. Crop improvement has been an important task at the station. The station produced Wisconsin #25 open pollinated dent corn and Spooner oats, both good selections at the time. The station was instrumental in the development, release, and maintenance of Wisconsin Early Black, Flambeau, 606 Manchu, and 507 Mandarin soybeans.

In 1923, the station undertook the inbreeding of corn and by 1929 made the first early experimental double hybrids. The station supervised the production and processing of foundation seed stocks, reaching a high of 3,602 acres in 1946. The station pioneered the use of irrigation on farm crops.

The sheep project on the Spooner station was taken on in 1936 after an outbreak of Brucellosis in the herd of dairy cattle. The herd of 25 was disposed of and the sheep project was initiated to utilize excess roughage. Research of all kinds, from pasture studies to introduction of the Targhee breed to Wisconsin, has been done. In 1995 the Station began pioneering research in the dairy sheep industry and remained the definitive source for dairy sheep information in the country until the program was ended in 2016 due to severe budget cuts. The station hosted the Spooner State Sheep Day for 64 years and was instrumental in the planning and execution of the Annual Great Lakes Dairy Sheep Symposium which has been held in Madison, Wisconsin; Brattleboro, Vermont; Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada and Hudson, Wisconsin as well as in Spooner.

The Spooner Ag Research station agronomy research continues, specializing in Agronomy and Horticulture crop production research.  The Station is also home to one of the few All-America Selections display gardens in the state.

Support The Research

Your contributions to the Spooner Agricultural Research Station Fund provide support to improve educational programs and training materials and continue educational and research activities. The Spooner Ag Research Station has a strong tradition of innovative research and educational programs that are a beacon to agricultural and horticultural producers as well as home gardeners in northwest Wisconsin and your gifts will help to ensure that the Station will be here for generations to come.

The University of Wisconsin Foundation is the official fundraising and gift-receiving organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Extension programs. Ways to Give:

Be sure to specify that your gift is for “Spooner Agricultural Research Station” or it will just go to the area of greatest need.

Thank you for your support!

Our Team

If you have any questions regarding Agriculture or Horticulture in Washburn County, please contact:

Kevin Schoessow
Agriculture Development Agent
Spooner Agricultural Research Station
W6646 Hwy 70
Spooner, WI 54801
Phone: 715-635-3506
FAX: 715-635-6741

More in this Section

Support Extension