The University of Delaware has utilized the Warrington Irrigation Research Farm for agricultural research since the property’s donation to UD by Mr. Everett Warrington in 1992. Located 4 miles south of Harbeson, DE at the intersection of Rt. 5 and Cool Spring Rd., the Warrington farm consists of 95 acres of agricultural land and 41 acres of woodland.
Initially, the farm was utilized for large scale processing vegetable research under the direction of the UD Vegetable Specialist, Ed Kee. In 1995, a 760’ 4 span center pivot irrigation system was acquired to support the research on pea, lima bean, sweet corn and pickling cucumber production systems. In 2001 the irrigation system was modified by UD personnel to create the first variable rate irrigation (VRI) system in the Mid-Atlantic. This system was dedicated to the research of improved irrigation management techniques that would improve yields and maximize irrigation efficiency.
In 2012, with support from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Delaware Department of Agriculture and Vincent Farms, an 18 ac., 42 zone subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) research plot was added to explore and refine this “new to the region” technology. Additional 2012 improvements include the addition of a 4” and 8” well and an upgrade of the original VRI controls to a GPS controlled system that provides control of each individual nozzle, enabling more intensive research and greatly expanded flexibility in plot design.