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Burden Center Research Station Profile

You can access a PDF version of the Burden Center Research Station Profile below.

Burden Center is located on Essen Lane at I-10.

4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Phone: 225-763-3990
Fax: 225-763-3993
Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday

Web site:

440 acres including 200 acres of forested green space with walking trails, 15 acres of formal garden (Windrush Garden), the Ione E. Burden Conference Center, the Steele Burden Memorial Orangerie, the All America Rose Selection display garden, the All America Selections garden, the Vi & Hank Stone Memorial Camellia Collection, and the Rural Life Museum.

Research focus:

  • Horticulture
  • Vegetable crops
  • Fruit crops
  • Ornamentals including container and greenhouse nursery crops, and annual and perennial bedding plants trials
  • Demonstration research--rose kinds and varieties, Crepe myrtle varieties, Gingers
  • Turf research
  • Medicinal plant research

Research Highlights

Burden Center functions primarily as a field and greenhouse research facilitation unit for many AgCenter scientists located in AgCenter department and schools in Baton Rouge, LA. These scientists conduct a wide array of research projects on vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals including turf grass.


Vegetable scientists investigate things like environmental modifications and the use of solarization and/or plasticulture technology to grow better vegetables more sustainable manner by reducing the use of inputs like pesticides. The organic production of vegetables also is being studied and demonstrated at Burden Center.

Sweet Potatoes

A team of AgCenter scientists comprised of horticulturists, entomologists, plant pathologists and a plant breeder conduct field trials at Burden Center as part of their protocol to develop new varieties of sweet potatoes that are more genetically stable, productive, and pest resistant. These efforts have played a vital role in the development and recent release of Beauregard, Bienville, and Evangeline as significant new sweet potato varieties.


Variety evaluations are being conducted on Southern High Bush blueberries, strawberries, figs, and low-chill peaches. Three new varieties of figs (’O’Rourke’, ‘Champagne’ and ‘Tiger’) were released in 2007. Mayhaw genotypes are being evaluated for their nutritive and processing value. Six varieties of satsumas (mandarin Oranges) are being tested at the northern limits of their habitat in a longevity study for cold hardiness. An irrigation system designed to provide freeze protection is being used to determine its efficacy to mitigate cold damage to these trees.

The addition of silicon and/or calcium to vase solutions are being evaluated as vase life extenders for fresh cut flowers. These treatments as supplemental fertilizers are also being evaluated to determine their ability to improve stem strength of poinsettia.

Rose Demonstrations

Earth Kind, Griffin Buck, and other low maintenance roses are on display for public viewing at Burden Center.

Significance of Burden Center Research

Vegetable, fruit, and ornamental research data are provided to Louisiana growers to help them stay up to date with the latest crop production technology, varieties and smart growing practices to minimize costly inputs and increase productivity and com-petitiveness. Sweet potato team research, for in-stance, has resulted in the release of Bienville and Evangeline, two new varieties that are more geneti-cally stable and pest-resistant than many commer-cially produced sweet potato varieties grown in the United States. O’Rourke, Champagne and Tiger are three new fig varieties that have been released for home garden and commercial production.

2009 Horticulture Industry Facts:

  • Total value of horticulture crops to the Louisiana economy was over $591.4 million
  • Commercial vegetables - $125.1 million
  • Fruit crops - $77.5 million
  • Home gardens - $178.6 million
  • Nursery and ornamentals - $124.1 million
  • Sweet potatoes - $84.5 million
  • Greenhouse vegetables - $1.4 million

Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary Web site:

Future Plans
Burden Center will continue to function primarily as a research facilitation unit dedicated to research activities on horticultural crops, including fruits, vegetable, ornamentals and turf grass. In addition to field plots, greenhouses and nursery areas, Burden Center has many more assets that can and are being used for teaching, research and service activities. These include Windrush Gardens, 200 acres of forested green space containing several miles of nature trails (Trees & Trails); the All America Rose Selection Display Garden; the All America Selections Garden; the Vi and Hank Stone Memorial Camellia Collection; the Steele Burden Memorial Orangerie; the ornamental ginger garden; the Barton Arboretum and Memorial Live Oak Garden, and the LSU Rural Life Museum.

When implemented, a major master plan developed in 2009 will connect all these elements that make up Burden Center into a unified destination that provides a welcoming and engaging experience for those who conduct research and extension work and for those who visit its public spaces. This master plan also will create a 43-acre gateway into Burden and what will be the Center for Urban Horticulture. This urban horticulture center will serve as a state-of-the-art Master Gardener teaching facility and will contain many demonstration gardens displaying the latest research findings for growing horticultural plants.

Related Files
FilenameDescriptionFile Size
BurdenProfile.pdf Burden Center Research Station Profile 837.03 KB
Last Updated: 6/13/2012 10:25:03 AM

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C.P. Hegwood
LSU AgCenter