To cater the needs of the farmers of Erode district, the Agricultural Research Station was started by the Department of Agriculture at Satyamangalam in August 1951 with an area of 20 hectares. Later it was shifted to Bhavanisagar in 185.28 hectares and started functioning from 1st March 1955. The station is positioned at the origin of LBP (Lower Bhavani Project) reservoir. It is a lead centre for western zone which lies in 11° 29’ N latitude and longitude of 77° 80’ E at 256 m above MSL. Cultivable area of this station is 154.94 hectares. This is a major multicrop station in the State engaged in research, extension and seed production activities of various agricultural and horticultural crops.
Climate and Soil
The climate is mainly semi arid tropic. The mean annual rainfall is 717 mm. The mean maximum temperature is 33.9 and that of the minimum temperature is 21.6° C. Wind velocity is 3.2 KMPH. Sunshine hours range from 3.7 to 7 per day with an average evaporation of 4.3 mm per day. The soils of this station can be considered to represent the major soil types which are found in the Lower Bhavani Project ayacut area. Soils belonging to Irugur series, Sathyamangalam series, Chikkarampalayam series and Kodivery series are distributed in five blocks of this research station. The different soils are found to be shallow, medium deep and very deep, calcarious or non calcarious, well drained to poorly drained, neutral to alkaline in reaction, sandy to loam and clay loam, single grain, granular and sub angular blocky having low content of macro and micro nutrients. Thus the result obtained from these soil types will find applicability for the Lower Bhavani Project ayacut soils.
Research, seed production, education and extension activities are being carried out in five blocks of this station in which different soil types encountered in the Erode district are available.
Northern Block (N Block)
This is the main block holding the premises of office and administrative building, library, meteorology observatory, seed processing unit, data processing centre, training centre, hostel, laboratory complex and research fields. It covers an area of 37.09 ha. The soil type is predominantly medium to deep reddish brown belonging to the Irugur or Chikkarasampalayam series. Research on agronomy and water management in various crops and seed production of oilseeds, millets, rice and turmeric are concentrated in this block.
Bhagaduthurai Block (B Block)
The soils of Bhagaduthurai block belongs to Sathyamangalam series and Kodivery series. The soil is generally shallow to moderately deep. The fields adjacent to river are of alluvial formation. With an area of 15.23 ha available in this block, research on crop improvement in rice, sorghum, maize, sunflower and groundnut crops and evaluation of pipe line entries besides seed production of turmeric are being carried out.
Southern Block (S Block)
This block covers an area of 46.96 ha with soil type representing Sathyamangalam and Kodivery series. Soil is reddish brown to yellowish brown loam and clay loam having near neutral reaction. Foundation and TNAU labeled seed production of early and medium duration rice varieties and turmeric research are the major activities, besides mechanized sugarcane cultivation.
Pungar Block (P Block)
Pungar block possesses reddish brown soil representing Irugur-Sathyamangalam and Kodiveri series in an area of 43.77 ha. The soil is alkaline in nature. Intensive production of breeder seeds in rice, pulses and oilseed crops along with sunnhemp seed multiplication are taken up in this block.
Thoppampalayam Block (T Block)
This block covers an extent of 42.23 ha and it mainly consists of soils of Irugur series, which are shallow, non-calcareous, reddish brown to yellowish brown and gravelly with near neutral status. Varietal collection and research activities on various horticultural crops, large scale clonal propagation of fruit kinds and nursery activities on ornamental crops are vigorously pursued. Implementation of NHM model nursery for producing true to type seedlings of fruit crops and turmeric varieties viz., BSR 1 and BSR 2 production are carried out to benefit the farmers under NHM.