bookcliffs in Palisade Colorado

Western Colorado Research Center

Like much of Colorado, the WCRC is unique in its climate, elevation, and crop portfolio. We are interested in diversifying our crop growing potential to meet the needs of our growing population and changing climate. Our research covers work on irrigation and harvest techniques, soil development and preservation, and optimizing crop plant productivity for high-elevation regions.

map showing the locations of all AES Research Centers in Colorado

The WCRC Is Comprised of Three Individual Research Stations

Geographically Distinct Locations with Diverse Research Goals

 

three researchers standing in an irrigation test field site

Grand Valley Research Station

Our work addresses challenges associated with our arid climate and finding solutions to conserve critically important agricultural water resources. The Grand Valley Research Station in Fruita, CO, conducts the bulk of the agronomic research for the WCRC.  We share our findings and knowledge with our regional industry and university partners on:

  • Integrated cropping systems
  • Alternative crops
  • Forages
WCRC Western Campus

Orchard Mesa Research Station

Orchard Mesa is co-located with the CSU Western Campus which expands our accommodations for visiting scholars, students and community outreach. Our primary research focus areas are currently centered around:

  • Tree fruits
  • Wine grape production
  • Ornamental horticulture
crops in organic farm

Organic Agriculture Research Station

At Rogers Mesa

OARS is located near Hotchkiss, CO where we emphasize our research exclusively on organic agriculture. Our primary research is currently centered around:

  • Organic tree fruits
  • Organic table and wine grapes
  • Organic seed production
  • Organic greenhouse cultivation

Research

Without a doubt water and soil conservation are at the forefront of our work as we develop new crop varieties, including tree fruits and specialty berry and grass varieties. Alongside research scientists, our students become part of our research team, engaging with our industry partners, and local growers. We feel it’s the best way to learn the vital skills to build a stronger agricultural future for our region.

Outreach and Engagement

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Contact Us

Orchard Mesa Research Center

3168 B 1/2 Road
Grand Junction, CO 81503-9621
(970) 434-3264

Grand Valley Research Center

1910 L Road
Fruita, CO 81521
(970) 858-3629

Rogers Mesa Research Center

30624 HWY 92
Hotchkiss, CO 81419
(970) 250-7559