The purpose of the Northern Piedmont Center is to conduct research and Extension programs on forage and field crops and soils. Research includes variety testing of corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, sorghum, canola and new crops; warm-season and cool-season perennial grass evaluation and maintenance; forages; soil fertility; soil erosion; and soil management. The Northern Piedmont Center has provided a place in the northern piedmont region of Virginia where project leaders can find uniform land with the right climate for their research needs, and watchful, caring personnel to assist with the conduct of projects that support the goals of Virginia Tech, a land-grant university.
It affords a place to conduct field research with assurance of controlled variability by careful placement of studies on the land, by adjusting the placement of replications to assure uniformity in the soil-site, and by protecting the land and crop for the most accurate results possible. One goal of the Northern Piedmont Center is determining how to best utilize land that is typical of the undulating piedmont landscape.
Virginians, (particularly those within 50 miles), have the opportunity to compare university crop establishment/management recommendations with other differing practices. Since it was established in 1940, the Center has enabled farmers to avoid varieties or management that research has shown are not productive in this area, although they may do well in other regions or states.