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About the Plant Materials Program

About Us

The NRCS Plant Materials Program selects conservation plants and develops innovative planting technology to address today's natural resource challenges and maintain healthy and productive farms and ranches.  The program includes 25 Plant Materials Centers operated by NRCS, Plant Materials Specialists , cooperating programs operated by others, and many federal, state, and local partners.

Plant Materials Centers develop vegetative solutions for natural resource concerns such as soil stabilization, soil health and productivity, and water quality.  PMCs also focus on national priorities such as enhancement of pollinator habitat, habitat for at-risk species such as sage grouse, and evaluation of cover crops to support soil health.  PMCs directly support the NRCS mission by providing scientifically-sound plant information and tools used by NRCS conservation planners and partners.

Our vision:  A Plant Materials Program functioning as the plant experts for NRCS, fully integrated and coordinated with technical and field office staff, developing and delivering vegetative solutions and conservation technology for NRCS customers.

The Plant Materials Program:

  • develops technology and information for the effective use, establishment, and maintenance of plants for a wide variety of natural resource conservation uses;
  • provides appropriate training and education to NRCS staff, partners, and the public;
  • studies and characterizes plant attributes to provide data and information important in the operation of predictive models and effective management of climate impacted plant resources; and
  • assembles, tests, selects, and releases seed and plants to provide for the commercial production of plant materials that protect and conserve our natural resources.

Major products from the program include Conservation Plant Releases and Technical Documents and Information.