OARDC Outlying Agricultural Research Stations
NAEWS Agricultural Research Station

The North Appalachian Experimental Watershed (NAEW) and Pomerene Forest Laboratory are situated among the hills and valleys of Coshocton County, Ohio. The 1,000-acre NAEW was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1935 to search for better farming methods on sloping land. In 1973, OARDC scientists joined in a cooperative effort with USDA researchers to conduct intensive studies on soil-water relationships on the various watersheds located here.
The sloping land in this area has potential for soil erosion and surface water runoff. Scientists are studying crop production methods to reduce the erosion and runoff ­ improving the environment of the area. Elimination of tillage prior to planting crops has significantly reduced the erosion potential on these soils. Movement of fertilizer nutrients and pesticides via surface water or into ground water is also a major focus at this branch. Large lysimeters ­ 65-ton blocks of undisturbed soil ­ aid scientists in measuring movement of water and potential contaminants through these soils.

Recently, scientists began studying the application of poultry litter to some of the small pastured watersheds. Large amounts of this waste are generated from the many poultry production houses in the area. Application of this material to pastures ­ rather than crop land ­ may be a better alternative. These treatments will be continued for five years, enabling scientists to study movement of nutrients in both surface runoff and ground water. If successful, these studies will benefit the environment and water quality of the area.

OARDC scientists are also studying beef cattle nutrition at this location. Recent studies have centered around using limit-fed grain as an alternative to hay ­ meeting the nutritional needs of pregnant beef cows through winter months. Results have shown that feed costs can be reduced up to 50 percent using this practice. A recent project uses composted poultry manure as a substitute for protein supplements in the grain diet. This could further decrease feed costs and make limit feeding of grain even more viable.

Pomerene Forest Laboratory

In 1971, Walter and Warner Pomerene donated 227 acres of land in Coshocton County to OARDC for forestry research. Forestry scientists in the School of Natural Resources established an ambitious research program and began their studies at what became the Pomerene Forest Laboratory.

The Pomerene Lab is the site of extensive plantings of conifer and hardwood species of trees on terrain similar to that of southeastern Ohio ­ the location of much of Ohio¹s commercial forest industry. Research includes plantings on both upland, well-drained soils and in lowlands where soils are poorly drained.
Plantation-grown Christmas tree production is a major research effort here. Plantings are evaluated on survival, growth and foliage quality. Extensive studies have been carried out to develop and refine cultural practices for production of high-quality trees, including weed control measures, shearing and shaping, and fertilization.

White pine ­ the most extensively planted species in the state, Norway and white spruces, and northern red oak are analyzed for selection, breeding, and disease and pest resistance. West Virginia seed sources of balsam fir have the potential to grow where Douglas fir and Fraser fir will not. Knowing which trees grow best in Ohio helps the reforestation efforts of scientists, forestry officials and landowners, and improves the success of Christmas tree growers.

Research at this branch has also included the use of herbaceous legumes as an alternative to inorganic nitrogen fertilization. Herbicides and mowing for weed control are imperative to Christmas tree and other forest plantings. This research can help reduce herbicide applications and labor and equipment costs. The Pomerene Lab complements tree studies at five other OARDC locations, plus several state forests.

Studies at NAEW and the Pomerene Forest Laboratory benefit Ohio farmers and Christmas tree producers. The research brings them alternative production methods ­ protecting the environment and achieving optimum production.
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8 miles north of Coshocton on SR 621 (Coshocton County, Ohio) Larger Map/Directions


28850 State Route 621
Fresno, OH 43824
Phone: 740-545-6349


1,047 acres


James Buxton, Research Associate
Vickie Dreher, Systems Specialist
Phyllis Dieter, Research Assistant 2
Steve Storm, Research Aide
Ken Scaife, Assistant to the Director, Field Operations

Cathy Chenevey, Office Associate
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
228 Research Services Building
1680 Madison Avenue
Wooster OH 44691
Phone: 330-263-3771 FAX: 330-263-3710