HIGHLANDS EXPERIMENT FARM

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HISTORY

This farm was established in 1937 by Taihouku Imperial University, the predecessor of National Taiwan University (NTU). The farm, located in Nantou county -- the central part of Taiwan, consists three locations with a total area of 1,092 hectares(ha) with an altitude from 900 to 2,700 meters(m). It is an ideal place for research and education of highland agriculture and highland natural resources. This farm was reorganized in 1961 as an affiliate of College of Agriculture and administered by Experimental Forest between 1966 and 1973 due to financial hardship. Finally, this farm retrieved its infrastructure in 1973 and horticultural practices have been actively implemented accordingly.

LAND UTILIZATION

1. Dou-Lo-Wan Forest, situate on the southern bank of Choshui creek with an acreage of 383 ha covering an altitude from 900 to 1,800 m with subtropical and warm temperate climate. This region, with slope varies from 10 to 25 degrees, is conserved as natural forest for biodiversity conservatory and the safety of the neighboring Wu-She Water Reservoir.

2. Chunyan sub-farm, situate at the vicinity of Chunyang village on the northern bank of Choshui Creek with an acreage of 44 ha covering an altitude from 1,260 to 1,600 m with a warm temperate climate. The slope ranges from 5 to 20 degrees. Ten ha of land are allocated for nursery production under protection, and the other areas are for afforestation or conservation of native plant collection.

3. Mei-Feng Farm (663ha), locate between Mei-Feng and Yuan-Feng, in a temperate area with an altitude from 1,700 to 2,700 m. The slope of a large portion of the land is between 15 and 30 degrees. The headquarter and major teaching facilities are located at this farm, The flat land, about 25 ha, has been cultivated with temperate crops whereas the other areas have been planned as natural conservation.

RESEARCH, TEACHING AND PRODUCTION

A high density orchard was established and more than 200 species or varieties of deciduous fruit trees were collected for research and teaching purposes. A rainshelter system was developed for Tatura-trained peach production. The orchard is well planned and can be served as a model for sloping orchard management. Freesia, Anemone, Polygonatum and Ornithogalum thyrsoides are grown under shelter houses for cut foliage or cut flower production. Modified growing soilless media, and fertigation system are utilized for labor-saving purposes. Pleiones, a gorgeous native but becoming extinguished orchid, is one of the recovery plants in this farm. Several hundred thousands of bulbs are propagated annually and scores of lines are selected. Besides horticultural crops, various species of herbs, ferns, orchids and succulents are collected for research and educational purposes.

OUTLOOK

This farm is noted for its affluent biological resources and biodiversity due to the proper conservation of natural habitat. More native conifer maples and alders have been planted on slope land in recent years and hopefully will be beneficial for soil and water conservation. This farm has been established mainly for the research and education of horticulture and highland agriculture. It is opened for the research and practical training to agricultural colleges, vocational high schools or even farmers. As far as sustainable development is concerned, it is essential to conserve the highland biological resources and natural environment. An important mission of this farm is there-by to ensure better biodiversity and environmental protection by increasing our kno-wledge and understanding of natural resources and eco-systems. Our mission will be achieved through the establishment of "Highlands Nature Education Garden" and with the emphasis on ecology, horticulture, science, and education.