Located in the heart of a rice-growing region, the Rice Research and Extension Center (RREC) and the adjacent Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center (AR6) form the largest resource for research in rice production in the United States. This area, which is known as the Grand Prairie, has an impervious clay soil that can hold water on the surface for several days at a time, making it ideal for rice cultivation. The center’s buildings include a large rectangular building with a barrel vaulted portico on two-story-high columns sheltering the glass-walled entrance. Behind this research and administration building are greenhouses and facilities for field experiments on approximately one thousand acres. The center has introduced more than thirty rice varieties, both through conventional hybridization and selection, as well as screening newly acquired varieties imported from around the world. Research in aspects of production include soil fertility, irrigation, plant physiology, entomology, plant pathology, and various aspects of crop, soil, and water management.
Immediately to the east of this center is the Harry K. Dupree National Aquaculture Research Center. Established in 1958, it now encompasses eighty-five acres, with nearly one hundred tank farms.