CSU closing Rogers Mesa research station in budget move


What they researched

The Colorado State University research station on Rogers Mesa has been known for its fruit tree research and orchard management practices. The center also conducted research into grape production, forage crops and alternative crops.

Colorado State University will close its Rogers Mesa research site in Hotchkiss in 2011 as a cost-saving measure, the university said.

The budget for CSU’s agricultural experimentation stations was reduced by 5 percent this year and will be cut up to 17 percent over the next three years, the university said in a statement.

“Closing the Rogers Mesa Research Center is a difficult and painful decision for Colorado State University,” Lee Sommers, director of CSU’s Agricultural Experiment Station, said in a statement. “However, this is the most prudent option to ensure we can continue to address important agricultural issues in western Colorado by maintaining current levels of support through our programs at Orchard Mesa and Fruita.”

CSU’s research stations on Orchard Mesa and in Fruita will continue much of the research that had been conducted at the Rogers Mesa location.

The Orchard Mesa station will continue with work on fruit, wine grapes and alternative-crop research programs, while the research center in Fruita will continue to emphasize research on crops such as corn, soybeans, pinto beans, forages and other crops.

The Rogers Mesa station, which sits at 5,800 feet in elevation, includes 40 acres of experimental apple, peach, sweet cherry, Asian pear and nectarine orchards.

Colorado State University will maintain its presence in western Colorado through the Tri-River Area Extension Office, plus extension offices in Mesa, Delta, and Montrose counties, the Western Slope Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Grand Junction, and the Colorado State Forest Service District Office in Grand Junction.

CSU is exploring alternative agricultural markets such as organic vegetables, agritourism and wine marketing in the Grand Valley, the university said.


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