KSU Agricultural Research Center

A scenic tree lined drive greets visitors to the Ag Research Center located just south of Frontier Park. Visitors are welcome to drive or walk around the grounds to enjoy the beautiful landscaping, pine trees, shrubs and flower beds. A variety of test plots are located throughout the center to provide research information on crops, soils, weeds and flowers.


The 1895, Kansas legislature declared, "The experience of the settlers upon the plains of Western Kansas was demonstrated conclusively that agriculture cannot be pursued with profit under existing conditions." The legislators saw the need for conducting research where it would be applied. So in 1901, on land that was once part of the Fort Hays Military Reservation, the Research Center was established with a mission to conduct basic and applied research appropriate to western Kansas where rainfall is limited.

Originally known as the Fort Hays Branch of the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the name was officially changed in 1994, to the Agricultural Research Center – Hays (ARCH). The headquarters area of the center comprises 3,700 acres of cropland and range land south of Hays and 2,400 acres of range land in the northeast corner of Ellis County. The main area includes the Centers' buildings and feedlot with capacity for 900 head with a modern feed mill located on the site for use in cattle feeding research. Besides trial sites in the field, a greenhouse complex makes possible the continuation of crop improvement and testing during the winter months. The primary mission of the ARCH is to serve the people of Western Kansas by developing new knowledge and technology to stabilize and sustain long-term profitable production of food and fiber in a manner consistent with conservation of natural resources, protection of the environment, and assurance of food safety. The emphasis is on production efficiency through optimization of inputs in order to increase profit margins for producers in the long term.

Research Program

The research program is focused on agricultural production which challenges specific to the region. Those include: beef cattle production, cultural and management methods for most of the major crops grown in Kansas, mitigation of the effects of weed, insect and disease pests associated with those crops, and genetic improvements of specific crops. Research is focused under the following major headings: Cattle Production and Nutrition, Range land Science, Wheat Breeding, Sorghum Breeding, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Weed Science, and Soil and Crop Management. ARCH employs 10 faculty scientists and 19 full-time support staff personnel. Seasonal (student) workers are employed as needed.