Delta Research and Extension Center, or DREC, focuses its research and extension activities on cotton, rice, soybean, corn, catfish, and other agricultural activities. Scientists and extension specialists work cooperatively to solve crop and aquaculture production problems and transfer new information and technology to area producers. The major goal of the DREC is to increase the yields of commercial agriculture and aquaculture producers, while at the same time preserving the Mississippi Delta's environment and natural resources.
DREC is located in Stoneville, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. The Center is a component of the Mississippi State University's Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. It encompasses personnel employed by the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES), the MSU Extension Service (MSU-ES) and the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine (MSU-CVM).
DREC, also known as the Delta Branch Experiment Station, is the largest of MSU's 16 branch experiment stations and research units located throughout the state. DREC has nearly a dozen regional and federal agencies with which to share knowledge located within its immediate vicinity and is arguably the largest agricultural experiment center in the U.S.
The Head of DREC is also the supervisor of the Delta Region of Mississippi State University's Extension Service. The counties in the Delta Region include Bolivar, Carroll Coahoma, Desoto, Grenada, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Montgomery, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Washington, and Yazoo. The primary purpose of extension activity is the transfer of new research information and technology through educational activities and methods. Delta Research and Extension Center brings focus to both the short- and long-term concerns of Delta producers. This work enhances the land-grant mission of Mississippi State University as producers have access to an interdisciplinary staff for interaction and decision-making purposes.
The physical facilities and scope of research programs have increased since the station's inception in 1904. The Delta Branch research facility now covers almost 5,000 acres total. Row crops are grown on about 2,100 acres, and soil types vary from very fine sandy loams to heavy clays. Also, 275 acres are dedicated to catfish research ponds. The nearby Delta Experimental Forest covers close to 3,000 acres of state-owned land. More than 12,000 people visit the Stoneville research complex each year.
DREC has a staff of more than 20 research scientists and over 100 support personnel. Its network of laboratories, offices, greenhouses, research, engineering, and maintenance shops, as well as its comprehensive library, create an integrated work environment.
The Charles W. Capps, Jr. Entrepreneurial Center, also located on the DREC campus, opened its doors in 2004. The Capps Center offers 18,000 square feet of meeting space, a 350-seat auditorium, and distance learning capabilities.
The work at DREC has had positive results for producers throughout the Delta, the mid-South, and the country. Research conducted here is a concrete example of the benefits that land-grant institutions such as Mississippi State University provide not only to producers, but consumers around the world by discovering inventive methods of producing safe, sustainable, and affordable sources of food and fiber.