Morrow Plots

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Morrow Plots, University of Illinois
Morrow Plots University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.jpg
Location Urbana, Illinois
Coordinates: 40°6′16.01″N 88°13′32.95″W / 40.1044472°N 88.2258194°W / 40.1044472; -88.2258194
Area 0.8 acres (current)
Built 1876
Governing body University of Illinois College of ACES
NRHP Reference # 68000024 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 23, 1968
Designated NHL May 23, 1968[2]

The Morrow Plots is an experimental corn field at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is the oldest such field in the United States[3] and the second oldest in the world. It was established in 1876 as the first experimental corn field at an American college and continues to be used today, although with three plots instead of the original ten.[4]

The results of the experiments which were carried out at the Morrow Plots showed that "soil quality is a vital component of agricultural productivity", and that the "use of science and technology ... increased crop productivity over four-fold."[3]

The site was designated a National Historic Landmark on May 23, 1968.[5]

It is popularly believed that the University constructed its Undergraduate Library to the west of the Plots with three stories underground, so that the library would not block the sun from the Morrow Plots. However, the University master plan at the time called for a large open plaza on that end of campus, which was an equally important reason the library was built underground.[6]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ "Morrow Plots, University of Illinois". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-07-20. 
  3. ^ a b Historical markers on the site
  4. ^ Illinois Farm Bureau "An Urbana Legend" Partners magazine (Spring 2009)
  5. ^ National Park Service, National Historic Landmark Program. Morrow Plots, University of Illinois. May 1, 2007.
  6. ^ "Morrow Plots" at UIHistories Project. Accessed August 16, 2011

External links[edit]