MAES Historical Timeline

Historical photo of two researchers conducting field research on the St. Paul campus. A lot has taken place over the 130+ year history of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. For one, the Experiment Station was not always located on its current home next to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds but was once on "land unsuitable for farming" in Minneapolis. Below is a timeline that tracks many of the important events and discoveries that helped shape not only the Experiment Station but the University of Minnesota and even the state. 

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1880s

1880s

1882 - U of M purchases land in Minneapolis for agricultural research and teaching. 

1885 - The Minnesota legislature establishes the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Edward D. Porter, a professor of agriculture, is named its first director.

1887 - Congress passes the Hatch Act, establishing agricultural experiment stations at land-grant institutions in all the states and providing funds toward their support.

1888 - The station hires its first staff members. They include Willet M. Hays, an assistant in agriculture; Samuel B. Green, a horticulturist; Otto Lugger, an entomologist; and David N. Harper, a chemist. Hays and Green were to play important roles in the history of the station.

1888 - The station issues its first quarterly bulletin, which included articles on Russian apples, wheat experiments, and potato culture.

1890s

1890s

1891 - Andrew Boss begins his career with the experiment station. Boss, who along with Hays is considered the father of several School of Agriculture departments, started as what would now be called a technician and ended as assistant director of the station. He attended the School of Agriculture for two years but never did get a college degree, although he was awarded many honorary degrees. His brother was William Boss, who headed the Department of Agricultural Engineering. When Andrew Boss died in 1947, he was eulogized as "Minnesota's grand old man of agriculture."

1893 - Hays sends Boss to buy two bushels of yellow corn from a Minneapolis seed company. This corn, called Minnesota #13, was a superior open-pollinated variety. Boss and Hays improved its yield by selection, and for decades #13 was one of the most widely grown varieties in the area. Those improvements were major factors in making corn viable as a Minnesota crop, helping to turn Minnesota from a wheat-dominant into a corn-dominant state. 

1895 - At the behest and with the financial assistance of empire builder James J. Hill, the Northwest Experiment Station is established at Crookston. The first superintendent, T.A. Hoverstad, makes the trip up by train with a wagon, a team of horses, several cows, and some pieces of machinery, including a plow and a harrow. A few temporary buildings already were in place.

1895 - 'Preston,' the first U of M wheat variety is released.  

1896 - The North Central Experiment Station is established at Grand Rapids.

1897 - The first central heating and electric light plants are installed on the St. Paul campus.

1899Forage Crops Other than Grasses by Thomas Shaw, professor of animal husbandry, is published. 

1899 - Wheat varieties, Breeding, and Cultivation, written by Willet Hays and Andrew Boss (AES Bulletin 62) is published and becomes the primier,guidebook, history and authority of wheat and wheat breeding. 

1900s

1900s

1900 - Dairy scientist T. Haecker writes Experiment Station Bulletin 67, on feeding standards for cattle. This was the first attempt to establish scientifically based feeding standards in the United States, and it remained the bible on feeding dairy cattle until 1940. Trained as a butter maker, Haecker also is regarded as the father of the creamery movement in Minnesota.

1900 - Hays and Boss arrange for experimental trials on alfalfa brought to this country in an immigrant trunk by Wendelin Grimm in 1857. Grimm, who settled in Chaska, stubbornly selected winter-hardy plants year after year until he had enough to keep himself and his neighbors supplied with this Ewiger Klee (everlasting clover). Grimm died in 1895, but his descendants lived to see Grimm alfalfa become the leading variety, a distinction it held until the 1940s.

1901 - H.H. Chapman initiates reforestation experiments at the North Central Experiment Station. This research, although conducted at a time when lumber was plentiful, demonstrated the need for continuous regeneration of Minnesota's forest resources.

1901 - A slaughterhouse (constructed for $7,500) is built on campus to help relate carcass traits to live animal traits. Pioneering research in meat lab work was headed by Andrew Boss, to whom the present Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science is dedicated. The facility was the first of its kind at an American university, and Boss was one of the first persons in the country to conduct such research.

1902 - Boss and Hays begin farm management accounting routes in the Northfield, Marshall, and Halstad areas.

1903 - The School of Forestry is established at the University of Minnesota."

1906 - The first formal publication of farm management data, "Cost of Producing Farm Products" is issued. The Minnesota station was the first place in the country to collect and quantify such information from farms on a daily basis.

1907 - The Fruit Breeding Farm (now called the Horticultural Research Center) is established at Excelsior. Charles Haralson, who gave his name to one of the best apples ever to come out of the experiment station, was appointed director.

1909 - The Cloquet Forest Research Center is established on land donated to the University by the Weyerhaeuser family.

1909 - Research on wood preservation begins. Minnesota researchers soon developed a national reputation for success in preserving fence posts and railroad ties.

1909 - E.C. Stakman begins a long and illustrious career as a plant pathologist conducting research for the experiment station.

1910s

1910s

1910 - The West Central Experiment Station and School of Agriculture is established at Morris.

1912 - The Southern Experiment Station is established at Waseca.

1912 - The Northeast branch experiment station opens at Duluth, a facility which has since been closed.

1913 - The Division of Home Economics is established at the University of Minnesota.

1913 - Farm management researchers determine that Minnesota supports 2,000 co-ops of various types doing an annual business of $60 million.

1914 - A survey of soil types in the state begins, with Blue Earth County the first to have a countywide survey. Surveys still are being done, with much more detail available on soil types.

1914 - J.H. "Pop" Allison, dean of the School of Forestry, plants trees at Lake Vadnais north of St. Paul to find out how well they protect the watershed. Those trees still stand. The forest is now named after Allison, and forestry students and researchers still use it.

1915 - Agricultural engineering researchers begin issuing plans for farm buildings. Farmers throughout the state used them to build the square farmhouses and roomy, hipped-roofed barns that still can be seen in the countryside.

1915 - Stakman identifies various races of stem rust and their ability to infect particular wheat varieties. These data eventually led to a cooperative effort between plant pathologists and agronomists to develop rust-resistant wheat varieties.

1915 - Alice Biester begins her outstanding work in dietetics. Between 1915 and 1955, she researched the nutritive value of foods, the relative sweetness of sugars, blood regeneration in hemorrhagic anemia, and the nutritional status of older women.

1916 - A catastrophic epidemic of wheat stem rust cuts yields in the Northern Great Plains by about 300 million bushels. Production for the war effort is seriously reduced.

1918 - Plant pathologist E.C. Stakman is appointed to head a barberry eradication program to combat stem rust. The goal of this program was to reduce the rust danger to wheat by eliminating that rust host. Early eradication was done by pouring salt on the bushels, often against the will of local farmers, who were said to sometimes threatened eradication workers with shotguns. Stakman finds that the stem rust fungus has 6 races. Station breeders began to develop rust-resistant cereals soon after. A Cereal Rust Lab is eventually established to monitor rust populations, and plant breeders have used these findings to develop cereals resistant to prevalent races.

1920s

1920s

1920 - Latham, a large-fruited, winter-hardy raspberry, is introduced. It remained a widely grown variety for several decades.

1920 - Agricultural engineers initiate research on the durability of concrete drain tile, testing its resistance to sulfates and carbonates. Minnesota remains a leader in this research.

1922 - The Haralson apple, a tart winter variety, is introduced by station researchers. It remains a favorite of both home and commercial growers.

1923 - Agricultural engineers cooperate with the electrical industry to build the first experimental rural electrical line in the nation near Red Wing.

1926 - Experiment station research in home economics begins. Early studies focused on foods, nutrition, textiles and clothing, and home management.

1930s

1930s

1930 - Station home economics researchers begin basic nutrition balance studies which last through the decade.

1930 - The Station releases parental lines for three double-cross field corn hybrids, which sets in motion a rapid changeover from open-pollinated varieties. Since then, releases of improved inbred lines have increased yields by 1 bushel per acre per year and reduced lodging by 1% per year. Inbred line A632 performed so well in hybrid combinations that it was used in 1975 to produce enough hybrid seed to plant 15.2% of the total U.S. corn acreage.

1936 - Dairy scientist C.L. Cole obtains the first birth of a calf through artificial insemination (AI). Adoption of Al has hastened genetic progress because of more intensive use of quality sires. In Minnesota, this has allowed average annual milk production per cow to increase from 4,400 pounds in 1940 to 12,139 pounds in 1984. This represents about $900 more income per cow annually.

1937 - Home economist Clara Brown Arny is named a consultant to President Roosevelt's Advisory Committee on Education. In 1940, Arny served with the federal Of Office of Education, directing a nationwide survey published in 1941 under the title Home Economics in our Schools.

1937 - Alec Hodson accomplishes basic ecological work on the forest tent caterpillar, a major forest pest in northern Minnesota. Hodson devised a method of sampling egg masses that made it possible to estimate populations for the following year and thereby determine whether spraying was necessary.

1939 - Horticulturist L.E. Longley succeeds in breeding a winter-hardy chrysanthemum. The mum, called Duluth, had a two-inch lemon yellow semi-double flower. The station has introduced more than 70 mums since 1939.

1940s

1940s

1940 - Poultry scientist T. Canfield develops a method determining the sex of day-old chicks, poults, and goslings that saved the poultry industry $250 million in 1984.

1940 - The first sawmill short course in the country is held at the Cloquet Forest Research Center.

1940 - Animal scientist L.M. Winters introduces crossbreeding concepts into commercial pork production that saved producers $80 million in 1984.

1944 - Plant pathologist C.M. Christensen announces that strains of the Penicillium fungus that were developed by his lab are being released for commercial penicillin production. Christensen later became a nationally known authority on the role of molds in grain storage.

1946 - J.E. Lambert begins the Station's soybean breeding program at a time when only 452,000 acres of soybeans were grown in Minnesota. In 1984. Minnesota farmers grew 5.8 million acres of soybeans. The improved varieties developed by the Station have contributed many millions of dollars to soybean producers' income over the years.

1949 - The Agricultural Experiment Station at Rosemount is established to serve scientists as an extension of the St. Paul campus.

1950s

1950s

1950 - University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory established.

1952 - Plant pathologists D.W. French and C.M. Christensen begin research to determine the cause of paper machine felt deterioration. By 1960, they had developed techniques that greatly increased the life of felts on paper machines, saving the industry millions of dollars

1954 - Nutritionist Jane Leichsenring wins the prestigious Borden Award for her work in fundamental studies in nutrition and in experimental foods.

1957 - The Station releases Park Kentucky bluegrass. Park, which continues to be an important variety, provided the basis for establishing the grass seed industry in northwestern Minnesota

1958 - Poultry scientist R. Shoffner and co-workers developed a blueprint for a light management system that resulted in year-round, rather than seasonal, egg production of turkeys. This has been worth more than $200 million to producers over the years.

1958 - Wildlife researcher G. Gullion begins studies that ultimately provide the most complete body of information on ruffed grouse biology and result in management strategies used throughout North America.

1958 - The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, located in Chaska, is founded to evaluate trees, shrubs, and ornamentals for home landscaping use in Minnesota's severe winter climate. Leon Snyder, who headed the arboretum from 1958 until his retirement in 1977, built it into a showplace, with more than 4,000 species and cultivars being evaluated for cold hardiness and landscape value.

1959 - The last team of workhorses owned by the station is sold.

1959 - The Southwest Experiment Station is established at Lamberton.

1960s

1960s

1960 - Animal scientist R.M. Jordan begins work on the development of milk replacer formulas and lamb management schemes that have enabled Minnesota producers to reduce lamb mortality 40 to 50%, increasing their income over $2 million annually.

1960 - The plant hardiness laboratory, now one of the leading centers for cold hardiness studies in the world, is established.

1960 -  Plant pathologists D.W. French and F. Baker and forest scientists F. Irwing and M. Meyer develop nonchemical management strategies to control dwarf mistletoe in black spruce, Minnesota's most valuable pulpwood species. In 1982, plant pathologist R. Blanchette and horticultural scientists M. Brenner and W. Livingston found that mistletoe could be controlled with sprays of ethylene-releasing agents, an environmentally safe procedure that could substantially reduce the $300-400 million annual loss mistletoe causes the forest industry.

1965 -  Animal scientists J.C. Meiske and R.D. Goodrich show that feed costs can be reduced more than $1 per 100 pounds of gain by feeding feed lot calves whole, instead of processed, corn. For the 500,000 cattle fed each year in Minnesota to a gain of 500 pounds, savings of more than $2.5 million result.

1966 -  Dairy and veterinary scientists conduct research on using post-milking teat dips to control mastitis, the most costly disease in dairy cattle. This new management approach reduced new mastitis incidence by 50%, and saves Minnesota farmers $10 million yearly in otherwise lost milk production.

1968 - Animal scientist W.J. Boylan introduces Finn sheep to the United States. Finn breeding has increased the average lambing rate in Minnesota about 20%, providing extra lambs worth $2.4 million annually.

1968 - Studies begin on developing the particleboard industry by using such underutilized species as paper birch and balsam poplar.

1970s

1970s

1970 - Station scientists initiate research that over the next decade produced results that caused Minnesota corn producers to plant 10 days earlier than previously and to increase plant populations by 2,000 plants per acre. These changes have increased Minnesota's corn production each year by 56 million bushels and corn producers' income by $140 million.

1970 - Norman Borlaug, once a graduate student under E.C. Stakman, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for leading the "green revolution," which increased food production in numerous developing countries. Borlaug's research focused on a dwarf wheat that had a high yield and was adaptable to many climates.

1970 - The first litter of pigs is produced using frozen semen.

1970 - The Station releases Era wheat. Minnesota producers have grown Era on more than 20 million acres since its release, earning $280 million more than they would have if they'd grown the varieties it replaced. In 1982, the Station released Marshall wheat, now the most widely grown variety in Minnesota and North Dakota.

1971 - Animal scientist R. Meade develops simple pig starters that allowed producers to save $1 per pig in feed costs. By using these starters, producers saved $8 million in feed costs in 1984.

1971 - Forest products researchers R. Gertjejansen and J. Haygreen develop technology making it possible to use a blend of dense hardwoods and aspen in particleboard/waferboard. Based on their findings, Minnesota's wood panel industry began to use dense hardwoods in the early 1980s, expanding significantly the raw material base and the potential for industrial expansion in the state.

1972 - Food scientist L.L. McKay begins research on the genetics of starter cultures. The first to use recombinant DNA techniques to improve such cultures, McKay had, by 1984, successfully Induced bacteria to take up DNA directly from the surrounding medium. As a result of his research, improvements have been made in the cultures used to make cheese, yogurt and other fermented food products.

1972 - Animal scientist E.F. Graham develops an extender for turkey semen that allows producers to produce hatching eggs via artificial insemination with only one-sixth as many toms as before. In 1984, use of the extender saved producers $13 million."

1972 - The Remote Sensing Laboratory is established at the University of Minnesota. This laboratory serves the remote sensing needs of several disciplines with programs in natural resources inventory and environmental assessment.

1973 - Agricultural engineer C. Larson develops a computer model for predicting water infiltration for any rainfall or sprinkler irrigation pattern. The model has been used to design center pivot irrigation systems, and to study ground water recharge, moisture availability for corn, tillage's effect on soil moisture, and drainage projects' effects on watershed runoff.

1974 - Scientists at the Northwest Experiment Station develop a method of preserving cull potatoes and potato processing wastes by ensiling them with forage. Previously, these by-products were discarded in dumps and landfills. Wastes from Minnesota potato processing plants are worth $6 million annually as animal feed.

1974 - The European concept of on-farm cheesemaking to Minnesota farmers. Several Minnesota dairy farmers now produce this Farmstead Cheese, and farmers in other states also have adopted the process.

1975 - Oat smut is epidemic in Minnesota, reducing yields in many fields by 50 to 60%. This led plant pathologist R.D. Wilcoxson to cooperate with oat breeders to develop the resistant varieties Noble, Lyon, Moore, Benson, and Preston.

1975 - Food scientist S. Tatini develops a quick and simple test that detects the presence of Staphylococcus enterotoxin in foods. The test is used by food industry and regulatory personnel for routine quality control aimed at preventing food-borne illness.

1975 - Family social scientist David Olson and associates begin compiling the Inventory of Marriage and Family Literature. This widely distributed publication lists all published literature in the English language in the area of marriage and family theory, research, and applied programs

1976 - Animal scientist D. Otterby develops storage and feeding systems that allow farmers to use colostrum and waste milk instead of expensive milk replacers to grow calves. In 1984, this research saved Minnesota dairy farmers $2.4 million in calf losses and $2.4 million in feed expenses.

1977 - Soil scientist R.H. Rust initiates an accelerated soil survey program. Goal is to have a modern survey of every county by 1992, from which crop management, drainage design, tax assessment, waste disposal and many other land use decisions can be made. Potential payoffs from better land use and the protection of the soil, Minnesota's most basic resource, are enormous.

1977 - W. Wallingford finds that small grains mature and yield satisfactorily on organic soils if copper is applied to the soil. The added cropping option affected nearly all of Minnesota's 7 million acres of organic soils.

1977 - Wildlife researcher L.D. Frenzel, his students, and U.S. Forest Service biologists develop a management strategy for bald eagles that is helping this endangered species recover.

1977 - D. Hedin begins a series of groundbreaking studies asking youth's for their views on issues and topics important to the time, such as teenage pregnancy and parenthood, schools, their families and their plans and expectations for the future. Findings from this on-going study of teenagers' opinions and concerns have been applied to the development of public policy, laws that affect youth, and school curricula. Hedin's Center for Youth Development and Research became a unit of the College of Home Economics in 1973.

1977 - Edelweiss and Swenson Red table grapes, both nearly hardy and needing some winter protection, are released by the station.

1978 - The Station releases Morex barley, which rapidly became the standard for malting quality and the most widely grown malting variety in the United States. Minnesota farmers have grown Morex on over 3 million acres since 1978, earning over $54 million more than they would have had they grown the varieties it replaced.

1978 - Research on containerized tree seedlings, by forest scientists A. Alm and R. Dixon, entered commercial use. By 1984, about 6 million greenhouse-grown seedlings had already been produced and planted in Minnesota, with a projected unprocessed wood value at maturity of around $5.6 million.

1978 - Hamilton McCubbin and associates undertake studies on marriage and family stress. This research provided the Department of Family Social Science with the largest existing national data base on stress in families.

1978 - Agricultural engineers H. Cloud, R.V. Morey, and J. Gustafson develop combination and natural air corn drying processes that reduce energy use and improve grain quality, saving Minnesota farmers more than $5 million yearly.

1978 - The Station releases McCall soybean. This high-yielding, early-maturing variety is one of the main reasons for the recent large increase in soybean acreage in northern Minnesota, where it has contributed significantly to the diversification of agriculture.

1978 - Nation's only long-term evaluation of lower profile windbreak shrub and small tree plantings, suitable for acres under irrigation, is begun. The project will last for more than a decade, allowing the investigators to follow the plantings of 36 species through a wide variety of weather conditions.

1978 - Dairy farmer Elmer Swenson begins working for the University and in the process revitalizes the Universities grape-breeding program. While cold-hardy varieties had been breed at the U as early as 1908, Swenson's cross breeding of old breeding stock acquired by the University with his own varieties quickly led to the release of table grapes Swenson Red and Edelweiss.

1979 - The Station releases Sweet Sixteen, Keepsake, and State Fair apples. Cultivars introduced by the Station account for over 60% of Minnesota's apple production, with an annual market value of $6 million.

1979 - Agricultural economist W.B. Sundquist begins research on the payoff from public sector agricultural research. His conclusion: research in the North Central Region for corn, wheat and soybeans produced returns exceeding 50 percent per year.

1979 - Forestry scientist H. Scholten begins research to find shrubs that can be used for windbreaks under center pivot irrigation systems to protect the topsoil and reduce damage to young crops. Four suitable species have been identified to date.

1979 - Agricultural engineer D. Thompson and food scientists F. Busta and C.E. Allen develop a model for predicting the safety of slow cooking beef. Previous safety estimates based on the destruction of dangerous organisms were inadequate. Slow-cooked rare beef accounted for $136,000 of Minnesota beef processors business in 1984.

1980s

1980s

1980 - Climatologists M. Seeley and D.G. Baker begin weekly agriculture weather advisories that help Minnesota farmers make important management decisions, saving them an estimated $4 million per year because of reduced weather damage to crops.

1980 - Animal scientist E.F. Graham adapts techniques used with livestock for the successful cryopreservation of fish eggs and sperm. The techniques will be valuable in developing selective breeding programs that will enhance fisheries management and be the basis for a burgeoning aquaculture industry in Minnesota.

1980 - Agricultural engineers R. Gustafson and H. Cloud and animal scientist R. Appleman conduct research into the causes, detection and solution procedures, and animal sensitivity factors related to stray voltage problems in livestock facilities. This research, and research done cooperatively with University of Minnesota psychologists, electrical engineers, and veterinary scientists, has made the university the leader in understanding and solving stray voltage problems.

1981 - Plant pathologists and agricultural economists cooperate to make the first economic analysis of crop loss due to ozone in the atmosphere. Results of this study are basic to the development of state and federal regulations on air pollution.

1981 - Entomologists E.B. Radcliffe and D.M. Noetzel demonstrate that the Colorado potato beetle and sunflower beetle can be controlled with dosages of insecticides much lower than label recommendations. Use of these low doses saves Minnesota growers about $4 million per year.

1981 - Agricultural engineer D.W. Bates and veterinary scientist J. Anderson establish demonstration complete health programs for five dairy herds. By providing separate maternity quarters and improving housing design, milk production in these herds has increased more than 1,000 pounds per cow, and calf mortality has been reduced from 10 to 40% to about 1%.

1981 - Soil scientist J. Moncrief expands research and education programs in conservation tillage. Acres cropped with conservation tillage in Minnesota increased from 43,500 in 1980 to 168,000 in 1984. When managed properly, corn and soybean yields will equal or exceed those from conventional tillage, yet save Minnesota farmers $3 million yearly.

1981 - Food scientist H. Morris and dental microbiologist C. Schachtele discover that some aged cheeses have the ability to repress tooth decay. Research is begun to determine how they do this, and to isolate and identify the compound(s) involved.

1981 - Biochemist I. Liener develops a drug delivery system that prevents experimentally induced emphysema in hamsters, with the hope of it leading eventually to techniques which can stop the development of emphysema in humans, particularly cigarette smokers.

1981 - Minnesota Tree Improvement Cooperative is formed. The co-op uses materials and information generated by Station research to genetically improve forest tree seedlings. It is estimated that, by 2000, almost half of the 20 million seedlings planted in Minnesota each year will be grown from improved seed. Growth rates of improved stock should be 5-20% above those of stock now used.

1981 - The Station releases Northblue and Northsky blueberries, the first of a line of hardy cultivars that enable Minnesota growers to produce millions of pounds of blueberries annually, supplementing those currently supplied by out-of-state growers."

1982 - Plant pathologists E. Schmidt and D. French develop a methyl bromide treatment for eradication of oak wilt fungus from logs. The process finds immediate commercial application and eliminates a pending European embargo on U.S. oak veneer log shipments valued at $l00 million annually.

1982 - Forest products scientist J. Haygreen publishes his findings on the mechanics of compression drying wood. By 1984, a prototype press for compression drying of wood chips was in service. Potential annual savings are $9-10 million in Minnesota industries that generate energy from wood.

1982 - Floriculturist R.E. Widmer develops a system to shorten production time of flowering cyclamen pot plants by 40%. This may save Minnesota greenhouse growers as much as $75,000 and allow them to grow 25-30% more plants each year.

1982 - Research begins at the West Central Experiment Station using thin stillage (a by-product of ethanol production from corn) in lieu of water and supplemental nitrogen for finishing steers. Animal scientists H.E. Hanke, R.D. Goodrich, J.C. Meiske and L. Lindor found that steers fed thin stillage had 5% less feed costs and grew 5% faster. Utilization of thin stillage eliminates the pollution hazard and returns about 40% of the cost of fermentation, making farm-size ethanol plants economically feasible.

1982 - Agricultural engineer J. Strait's research results in installation of a continuous-flow wild rice percher in a processing plant. The prototype uses about half as much fuel as conventional perchers and could save a typical plant about $16,000 yearly in fuel costs as well as significant labor costs.

1982 - Agricultural engineers R.V. Morey and C. Schertz begin work on a system for collecting, transporting, processing and burning corncobs to dry shelled corn. The system offers potential to significantly reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to dry corn in Minnesota.

1983 - Based on research at the Northwest Experiment Station, scientists suggest a 25-pound reduction in the per-acre nitrogen recommendation for sugarbeets. The reduction improves processing quality, and along with reduced fertilizer costs, potentially increases return by $18 million annually in Minnesota.

1983 - The station releases Robust malting barley. Well received in its first year, Robust appears quickly becomes a standard.

1983 - Housing researcher C. Cook initiates study of the housing needs and opportunities of rural families headed by women. The research will identify housing concerns and issues needing public policy attention and provide tools for assisting the almost 30,000 Minnesota families of this type.

1983 - Nutritionist D.A. Savaiano and VA Hospital co-workers prove that yogurt microorganisms aid in the digestion of lactose and allow milk-intolerant people to benefit from the nutrition of dairy products. This finding could increase consumption of dairy products in parts of the world where intolerance of the lactose in milk is widespread.

1983 - Rural sociologists G. Donahue and R. Cantrell find that yoking (having a pastor serve more than one parish) reduces yoked congregations' community involvement because the pastor's role in each congregation is curtailed. They also found that this may be overcome through activities that increase lay Involvement.

1983 - Team research led by D. Rose produces a regional timber supply model for assessing opportunities for industrial expansion. The model allows assessment of costs for transporting harvested timber by road or rail from any location in Minnesota to processing facilities."

1984 - Tree physiologist R. Dixon introduces a system for inoculating red and jack pine and white spruce seedlings with mycorrhizal fungi to increase seedling survival and growth. Routine use of this technology could reduce replanting costs $20-50 an acre on the 50,000 acres reforested in Minnesota each year.

1984 - Forest scientist L. Merriam and an assistant study campsites in the Boundary Water Canoe Area to identify and assess changes resulting from their use. The study culminates 18 years of research on visitor impacts and provides a basis for developing new management plans for this world renowned tourist attraction.

1984 - Forest scientists D.P. Guertin and K.N. Brooks develop a model that predicts changes in water yield and flooding associated with peatland development. By helping in the evaluation of schemes to develop peatland for energy and horticultural purposes, the model will help ensure that minimal adverse hydrologic impacts occur.

1984 - Plant pathologists N.A. Anderson and E.B. Banttari develop and maintain pathogen-free seed potato stocks that yield 15-25% more than certified seed and give Minnesota growers the opportunity to increase yields substantially.

1984 - Family social scientist H. McCubbin and a health scientist study families and adolescent risk behaviors with the cooperation of a health maintenance organization. Based on the findings, family-oriented programs aimed at preventing smoking and alcohol and drug use among adolescent family members have been developed in Minnesota.

1984 - Youth development researcher M. Baizerman is principal author of a manual published by the U.S. Government to help fire departments plan and implement programs for adolescent fire setters. Workshops on using the manual have been held for fire professionals from throughout Minnesota.

1984 - Plant pathologist R. Brambl develops a process to measure contamination of foods and grains by storage molds. The extremely sensitive and accurate process should reduce or prevent economic losses to the grain industry and food manufacturers.

1984 - Agricultural engineer D. Thompson defines the minimum blanching conditions for commercial canning and freezing of vegetables. His work shows that many Minnesota processors can reduce blanch treatments, thereby increasing plant capacity, reducing waste material, and increasing the quantity of finished product per unit of raw vegetable.

1984 - Family social scientist P. Rosenblatt documents tensions and stresses of family businesses in Minnesota. His findings, that the two systems--family and business--compete for resources and operate with different goals and values, are being used by Extension workers and others to help families.

1984 - Molecular biologist J. Messing does research on the analysis and manipulation of Zein storage proteins in corn. U.S. farmers might save annually as much as $400 million in the production of hogs and $250 million in the production of poultry if this research results in the development of commercial corn hybrids with higher nutritional value.

1984 - A three year effort to expand high-value vegetable production in Minnesota ends. During that time, asparagus acreage increased over 1,000 acres, with crowns available to plant 1,500 acres more in 1985. Broccoli and cauliflower acreage increased from fewer than 50 acres to about 350 acres. The commercial value of production from 1,000 acres of asparagus is about $1.7 million yearly: the 1984 broccoli and cauliflower acreage represents $900,000 in new income.

1985 - High-protein Proat oats, the seventeenth oat variety developed by Station scientists, is released. Among the varieties released by the Station is Moore, currently the most widely grown oat in Minnesota. These releases have helped keep Minnesota among the top oat-producing states.

1985 - PigCHAMP, a computerized swine breeding and herd management system is released through the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. For the first time, swine producers are able to use the new types of ""personal computers"" to improve the efficiency of swine breeding on the farm.

1985 - Plant Molecular Genetics Institute established with the goal of strengthening applied interdisciplinary research on plant improvement.

1985 - Plant Pathologist D. French, working with colleagues from Utah, demonstrates that prompt pruning and proper disposal of infected branches of Elm trees is a cost effective method of controlling the spread of Dutch Elm Disease.

1986 - The Minnesota legislature provides funding for the initiation of systematic experiment station research into the connection between water quality and agricultural chemical use. The Center for Agricultural Impacts on Water Quality is established to bring multi-disciplinary scope to the research.

1986 - Nitro, the first commercial alfalfa specifically bred as an annual, nitrogen fixing crop, is released by the experiment station. It remains the only such type of alfalfa recommended for planting in Minnesota.

1986 - Dairy ORACLE, a computer program designed to reduce the uncertainties surrounding dairy herd management, is released. It is designed to provide projections on the effects of management decisions for as much as six years into the future.

1986 - Center for Alternative Crops and Products established at the university to coordinate and support the research and development of new agricultural crops and products for Minnesota.

1987 - The newest horticultural release by experiment station plant breeders is a an early season pear, Summercrisp, which is both winter hardy and relatively immune to the negative effects of foliage and fruit diseases and insect pest damage.

1987 - Dairy Foods Research Center is established by the Universities of Minnesota and North Dakota. Its purpose is to improve the processing, quality and safety of dairy foods through biotechnology.

1987 - Minnesota Cold Climate Building Research Center is established at the university, partly funded by the experiment station. It will help the state's construction industry stay on top of state- of-the-art cold climate construction techniques for both residential and commercial structures.

1987 - Plant scientists studying corn and oats discover a link between chromosome breakage during tissue culture propagation and so-called "jumping genes" which lead to plant mutations.

1988 - Southwest Branch Experiment Station in Lamberton acquires a long-term lease on an adjacent 160-acre farm which, for more than 30 years, has seen very little use of fertilizers, pesticides or large mechanical equipment. The nearly unadulterated acres will be used for an expanded program of sustainable agriculture research. A sustainable agriculture research group is established to coordinate use of the site and related research activities across the university.

1988 - Computerized predictive model for cercospora leaf spot disease is released by the experiment station. The model will reduce unnecessary applications of fungicides on sugarbeets.

1988 - The cellular source of a centuries old problem of reduced cattle fertility is tracked to a fused chromosome pair by veterinary biologist L. Buoen. The discovery leads to a wider use of tests that should gradually eliminate the chromosomal mutation from North American cattle herds."

1989 - New herbicide resistant corn bred by experiment station plant geneticists. The new post-emergent herbicide resistant line will be developed to give producers an alternative to the pre-emergent herbicides in current use. Post-emergent herbicides are considered environmentally safer, and should slow the development of herbicide resistant weeds.

1989 - American Indian Research Apprentice Program begins at the Cloquet Forestry Center. Program is designed to entice participants to continue into careers in research, and to forge closer links between the center and the surrounding Indian community.

1989 - Personal computer "experts system" is developed to assist dairy herd management by Minnesota producers.

1989 - Northwest Experiment Station, Crookston, expands research program to help develop commercial vegetable production in northwest Minnesota.

1989 - Cloquet Forestry Center certified as an "American Tree Farm" by the American Forest Council. Designation acknowledges the quality of the center's forest management program.

1989 - Novel recycling use for newspaper developed by experiment station animal scientists B. Appleman and H. Chester-Jones. They determined that with only a few simple precautions, it can be safely used as dairy cattle barn bedding material.

1989 - Special university research team established to work with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to combat the invasion of purple loosestrife, a noxious weed which is crowding out native Minnesota vegetation in many wetland areas.

1989 - The first seedlings of a new blight resistant American Chestnut tree are planted in Virginia. The variety was developed in Minnesota by plant breeder C. Burnham. The classic American tree has been brought near to extinction by the introduction of the blight causing fungus from Asia in the early part of this century.

1990s

1990s

1990 - New winter-hardy "St. Cloud" blueberry released to expand production in the colder regions of the U.S. and Canada.

1990 - Part of the physiological basis to the beneficial "crop rotation effect" is discovered by experiment station researchers. The symbiotic relationship between plant roots and a certain soil fungi known as vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae is identified as the helper by K. Crookston and several graduate students.

1990 - Institute for Paper Chemistry hardwood tree breeding program expands at Minnesota's branch experiment station at Grand Rapids. Aspen-Larch hybrid supertrees, bred from very rare natural and induced tetraploids (doubled set of genes) parents, are the project's focus.

1990 - Honeycrisp apple released by the experiment station. Described as "explosively crisp" by fruit tree breeder D. Bedford, it is expected to eventually command a significant portion of Minnesota's fresh apple crop.

1991 - Satellite imaging technology and personal computers are applied to wildlife conservation activities by D. Smith. Population survey strategy for tigers in Nepal is one of the first applications.

1991 - Biological control is uncovered for Canadian thistle, a persistent, perennial noxious weed in Minnesota. A naturally occurring disease organism interferes with the weed's photosynthesis, gradually killing it. Much work remains to make the disease causing bacterium a commercially available product.

1991 - Family Social Science researcher S. Zimmerman debunks myths that social program spending harms families. Across the U.S. and over a 25-year span, states with more generous social assistance programs are found to have lower divorce and teenage birth rates than less generous states.

1991 - Parasitic wasps which attack the gypsy moth caterpillar, released in Minnesota by experiment station researchers in 1989, are found to have established self-sustaining populations in Minnesota, and also are discovered to attack several native caterpillar pests, using them as alternative hosts to the not yet arrived gypsy moth.

1991 - Simplified DNA ""fingerprinting"" test for bacterium which causes potentially deadly food poisoning, from meat and dairy products, is developed by food scientists S. Harlander and A. Baloga.

1991 - A "first in the world" coherent and bendable plastic material made entirely from wood pulp mill lignin waste byproducts is the result of work by chemistry researchers S. Sarkenen and J. Mlynar.

1992 - The virus which causes "mystery swine disease" (also known as swine infertility and respiratory syndrome) is isolated by a multi-state team of animal pathology researchers. The discovery should lead to tests for carriers, and possibly an eventual vaccine.

1992 - Natural antibiotic producing soil microbe is identified by experiment station biochemists and plant pathologists. The microbe may lead to commercial scab and wilt controls for Minnesota's most economically important vegetable crop, potatoes.

1992 - Agricultural engineers develop techniques for renovating and renewing old rural "timber" constructed bridges. Technique saves up to 75 percent of the cost of completely replacing such a structure.

1992 - Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture established to improve collaborations between university scientists and supporters of sustainable agriculture. At least half the governing board for the institute are sustainable agriculture based farm producers.

1992 - Forage "mining" techniques are developed to retrieve nitrates leached deep into subsoils. Some of the crops recommended for these efforts can grow their roots down as deep as 18 feet.

1993 - Experiment station soybean research team becomes the first to mark specific plant genes that provide resistance to soybean cyst nematode. Discovery should greatly reduce the cost and time involved with developing commercially productive varieties resistant to the negative effects of this pest.

1993 - A new type of giant self-seeding chrysanthemum, a "throwback" to earlier plant forms, are discovered by experiment station plant breeders. New landscape varieties based on these plants will take a few more years of breeding before release to the public.

1993 - Disease causing microscopic bacteria found to be more tenacious and resistant to industrial food processing cleaning processes than previously thought. Food scientist E. Zottola alerts the industry to the need for increased attention to chemical and mechanical sanitation of food processing equipment.

1993 - A new cooperative research program is established by the experiment station, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute and Brainerd-Staples Technical College to conduct adaptive research localized to that region's climate and soils.

1994 - University of Minnesota Food Animal Biotechnology Center established to develop and disseminate new techniques for improving the precision of traditional animal breeding practices.

1994 - Perceptions of ""fairness"" of Minnesota child support guidelines examined by family social scientist K. Rettig and graduate assistants. Findings suggest revisions may be desirable to Minnesota's laws, and better education into these concepts for mediators, attorneys, judges and other professionals involved with divorces may be helpful.

1994 - New guidelines developed to make the use of diatomaceous earth more effective as an insect pest control in stored grains.

1994 - Wheat and barley varieties resistant to scab are developed from crosses with resistant varieties from China and Japan, where selection for resistance has been a high priority need for decades. Commercially productive releases may be available within a few years.

1996 - After 20 years of development, Frontenac is released as the Universities first cold-hardy grape variety. Frontenac is currently the most popular vine in Minnesota and is widely planted throughout the Midwest, New England and Quebec.

2000s

2000s

Coming soon...

2010s

2010s

Coming soon...

2020s

2020s

Coming soon...