South Central Agricultural Laboratory


The primary focus of the South Central Agricultural Laboratory is the development and refinement of irrigated crop production practices for Nebraska agriculture and beyond.

Farm Address:
851 Highway 6, Harvard, NE 68944


Directions from Lincoln, NE:  Travel ~70 miles west on I-80 to Exit 332; turn south on Hwy 14 and drive 16 miles south to Hwy 6.  Turn west on Hwy 6 and travel 7.5 miles west, then turn south at the South Central Agricultural Laboratory sign.  We are located 0.5 mile south of Hwy 6.  Total travel time:  105 minutes.

Nebraska Highway Map
Clay County Highway Map

Research Expertise:

Approximately 80+ applied field research trials are conducted at the South Central Ag Lab annually by University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty and United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service scientists.  Trials are focused on irrigation and water management, soil fertility, entomology, weed science, cropping systems, disease management, crop variety testing, and organic systems.  In addition, 10-15 University of Nebraska-Lincoln master's and doctoral graduate students engage in research projects at SCAL each year.
Aerial Photograph
Research Capacity:
Total tillable acreage:  560 acres.  Irrigated acreage:  514 acres and dryland acreage:  46 acres.  Vast majority of acreage is planted to corn and soybean with a few acres of wheat, sorghum and certified organic crops.
Irrigated acreage classified as:
  • lateral-move pivot:  364 acres
  • furrow:  62 acres
  • sub-surface drip:  47 acres
  • center pivot:  41 acres
Administration and Staff:
Assistant Dean/Assistant Director:  Hector Santiago
UNL Faculty Member in Charge:  Dr. Richard Ferguson
Research Farm Manager:  Kevin Hutsell, 402-762-4570
Secretary/Project Manager:  Sharon Hachtel, 402-762-4403
Advisory Board Chairman:  Randy Uhrmacher, Local Producer
Edward Barnes:  Research Technologist I
Terry DeVries:  Research Analyst, Entomology
Scott DeWald:  South Central Forester
Matthew Drudik:  Agricultural Research Technician III, Biosystems Engineering
Perry Ridgway:  Agricultural Research Technician II, Farm Operations
Irvin Schleufer:  Agricultural Research Technician III, Weed Science
Glen Slater:  Research Analyst, Soils

Employment Opportunities
  • Summer Employment:  contact Kevin Hutsell, Research Farm Manager, 402-762-4570
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