Iowa State University
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Horticulture Research Station



Ames, Story County
(515) 232-4786

Directions:Three miles north of Ames on Hwy 69, turn east on 170th St. about 1.5 miles.

Horticulture Research Station
55519 170th Street
Ames, IA 50010

click here for a map view


235 acres


Iowa State University


Apple orchards are important for teaching and researching orchard management and pest control. The Chieftain apple variety (shown) is a cross of Jonathan and Red Delicious developed at ISU.


Horticultural field research has been active at Iowa State since the beginning of the institution. The work was moved to this site in 1967 from the former location at Sheldon and Knapp streets in Ames.


Nearly level to moderately sloping landscape near the Skunk River. Predominant soils are:

2 to 14 percent slope, well-drained upland soils.

1 to 3 percent slope, somewhat poorly drained upland soils.

0 to 2 percent slope, poorly drained upland soils.

5 to 50 percent slope, well-drained soils on knobs and hills.

Research and Demonstration

Field research. The station has extensive horticultural plantings and projects, including apple orchards, vineyards, pest control in muskmelons, demonstration home gardens, vegetables, fruit, turfgrass and ornamentals. Aquaculture research with bluegill, walleye and hybrid striped bass is being conducted in six ponds constructed at the site. Hybrid poplars for biomass and native prairie for roadside use also are being studied. Scientists from horticulture, forestry, botany, ecology, plant pathology, entomology and natural resources are active at the station.


An extension training meeting discusses high tunnels which are used to extend Iowa's growing season for fruits and vegetables.


The station has a headquarters building with offices, laboratory, meeting/classroom, cold storage and an apple-sorting room. Other improvements include a shop, pesticide building, equipment storage, turf research building, a 15-acre lake, extensive irrigation system and six 0.2-acre ponds for aquatic research and teaching activities.