Cowpen Branch Facility
Agricultural Profitability & Sustainability Demonstration/Research

The Cowpen Branch Facility consists of approximately 50 acres of land located off Cowpen Branch Road near Hastings in St. Johns County. The Cowpen Branch Facility has been operated by IFAS since the late 1950s and has a long track record of excellent potato production. Currently, 36 acres are used for crop production research.

Approximately 15 acres at the site were in pine production until 2003. The pine trees have been harvested and the pine land has been prepared for row crop production. This 15 acres is used for water management demonstrations and research. Infrastructure at the site currently includes a 60 x 110 ft covered barn/workshop that houses the potato washing and grading equipment, a pesticide mix/load facility, a 32 x 125 ft pole barn for equipment storage and meetings, small concrete block vegetable field lab, convex type containers for storage, and a modular office building.

Currently, work at the Cowpen Branch farm is centered on commercial vegetable production and ways to improve water use, water quality, crop yield and crop quality. This allows our producers to be more sustainable from an economic perspective as well as an environmental perspective. Crops at the farm include potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkins, melons, forage sorghums, and milo.