Trevor Nichols Research Center abounds with opportunities for scientific discovery
posted on May 16, 2011 8:47am
According to Michigan State University (MSU) and Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) researchers, the Trevor Nichols Research Center (TNRC) is just one of MSU’s many facilities that provide them with opportunities to conduct studies that many scientists across the country may not experience.
“We have approximately 100 planted acres of various fruit crops at TNRC that provide a venue for field testing and research by MSU faculty and graduate students, including those often working on GREEEN-funded projects,” said John Wise, research and Extension coordinator at TNRC.
Began in 1967 on 80 acres willed to MSU by writer and part-time farmer, Trevor Nichols, TNRC is one of four AgBioResearch (formerly Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station) off-campus facilities dedicated to researching issues in fruit production. Projects at the TNRC specifically focus on addressing pest management problems and strategies for Michigan’s fruit industries, which include apples, cherries, blueberries, pears, peaches and grapes.
“TNRC in particular is a place that can host pest management research, especially when allowing pest populations to flourish is a must for the research to be successful,” Wise explained.
In addition to the orchards, TNRC has several other infrastructure resources that are available to MSU scientists, including a rainfall simulation chamber, insect-rearing facilities such as insect colonies and environmental chambers, and various types of research sprayers. TNRC also hosts various outreach and Extension opportunities in order to provide growers with the latest information to help their operations. Just one example of these outreach programs is a bilingual integrated pest management (IPM) training, which assists underserved growers in the state.
“TNRC also publishes several important MSU publications, including the ‘Michigan Fruit Management Guide’ and various IPM pocket guides, in both English and bilingual versions,” Wise added.
With all of its unique resources, TNRC is an MSU facility that is continuing to reap positive results for fruit growers around the state of Michigan. According to Wise, it is also one of the many assets that continue to allow MSU researchers to be leaders in their fields.
“In an environment where many land-grant universities are closing research stations, eliminating applied field personnel positions or doing both, having the TNRC with the infrastructure that has been invested in the one of the largest orchard acreages of all competitors allows us to do research and provide other educational opportunities that many land-grant faculty simply cannot do.”