Sanborn Field

Sanborn Field


Columbia (4.5 acres)

Local Weather

Sanborn Field is the oldest, continuous experimental field west of the Mississippi River and the third oldest in the world.

It was established in late 1888 by Dean J.W. Sanborn, who was looking to demonstrate the value of crop rotations and manure in grain crop production. Chemical fertilizer treatments were added by the early 1900s. Many of the 38 plots have the same crop rotation today as they did in 1888. Sanborn Field is unique because of its many long-term treatments on the same soil type. 

Sanborn is most famous for its role in the discovery of Aureomycin, a contemporary of penicillin and tetracyclines.


Sanborn Field is located at Rollins Street and College Avenue, on the east side of the University of Missouri campus.


For general questions, contact Tim Reinbott, 573-882-4450


  • Tim Reinbott,, 573-882-4450
  • Research Highlights

    • Soil health including comparisons to soil cores taken since the 1800s.
    • Studies documenting the value of crop rotation and legume cover crops.
    • Variety of treatments including no-tillage, liming and irrriation management, demonstrating their impact on soil health.

    Extension & Education