The Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC) Burns location, cooperatively run by Oregon State University and USDA-Agricultural Research Service, is composed of both state and federal lands. Ten full-time scientists, two state (OSU) and eight federal (USDA-ARS), are stationed at the Burns location. One EOARC scientist (OSU faculty) is stationed in Corvallis.
Main offices and laboratory facilities are located on 640 acres of state land, locally known as Section 5, situated about 5 miles south of Burns on Hwy 205. Section 5 is also the location where most of our meadowland ecology and management research takes place, and also where all the hay needed to support our livestock during winter is produced.
The Northern Great Basin Experimental Range (NGBER) is our rangeland property located on Hwy 20 about 35 miles west of Burns. The NGBER is federally administered and encompasses over 16,000 acres. It supports a variety of plant communities dominated by western juniper, three subspecies of big sagebrush, two species of low sagebrush, and many of the grasses and forbs common to Intermountain and northern Great Basin rangelands. Improved pastures of crested wheatgrass are also present. We have exclosures at NGBER which were established in 1936, and have been left untreated since that time. They provide a significant historical resource demonstrating successional changes over more than 50 years. Recently, rainout shelters were built so that scientists can investigate the effects of altered precipitation patterns on native plants.
The EOARC cattle herd is composed by approximately 250 spring-caving brood cows. The majority of the calf crop is weaned at 6 months of age and sent to commercial feedyards for growing and finishing. Every year, 50 heifers are kept and raised as replacements. Cattle is maintained at Section 5 during winter and spring, and moved to the NGBER rangelands for summer and fall grazing.