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Many of today's environmental challenges can be addressed through the use of plants. Plants hold soil in place, protect stream banks and shores, filter pollutants, offer food for livestock and cover for wildlife. They heal the land after wildfire and mining, floods, and drought. They beautify our surroundings.
Plant Materials Program
The Plant Materials Program provides application-oriented technology including technical publications, fact sheets, conservation plant releases of conservation plants, conservation plant identification tools for conducting plant materials work and land restoration, and other plant information. The Program includes a network of 27 Plant Materials Centers (PMCs) and associated Plant Materials Specialists serving all 50 states and territories.
The PLANTS Database, managed by the National Plant Data Team (NPDT), provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories. It includes names, plant symbols, checklists, distributional data, species abstracts, characteristics, images, crop information, interactive identification keys, automated tools, references and onward web links. This information primarily promotes land conservation in the United States and its territories, but academic, educational, and general use is encouraged. PLANTS reduces government spending by minimizing duplication and making information exchange possible across agencies and disciplines.
National Plant Data Team
The National Plant Data Team provides national and international leadership on plant information for the United States and its territories. The Plant Data Team acquires, develops, improves, and disseminates plant information to support NRCS and other efforts to improve the ecological health of the land. The Plant Data Team maintains the PLANTS Database to support conservation activities such as: conservation planning, agronomy, soils, water quality, forestry, wetland restoration, range management, biology, bioengineering, plant materials, national resource inventory, and Farm Bill programs.
Cover Crops and Soil Health
The NRCS’s National Soil Health and Sustainability Team and Plant Materials Program are working together to improve our knowledge of using cover crop mixes to produce healthy soils.