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Plant Materials Program Mission

The Mission of the Plant Materials Program

“The development and delivery of plant science technology to meet the Nation’s natural resources conservation needs. ”

The mission of the Plant Materials Program has always been to find plant solutions to solve conservation problems. Plant Materials Centers (PMCs) around the Nation have developed over 600 conservation plant releases of grasses, legumes, forbs, shrubs, and trees. Finding these uniquely evolved plants to meet specific conservation needs has been, and continues to be, the focus of the Plant Materials Program. These plants literally provide protection for millions of acres cross our Nation.

No tool offers more versatility or is more cost effective for long-term environmental protection and improvement than plants. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), through its network of 27 strategically located Plant Materials Centers, delivers needed plants and plant technology throughout the United States. The Program is dedicated to developing plants and plant technology to solve conservation problems.

Finding cost-effective solutions to conservation concerns requires an integrated, multidisciplinary approach. This approach requires the involvement of all NRCS staff levels, other government agencies, academic institutions, private groups, and individuals. NRCS field offices, with their direct connection to landowners and managers, play a critical role in meeting customer needs and in providing timely delivery of plant information and products developed by PMCs.

Plant Materials Centers provide vital plant data to support decision making tools such as; the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE 2), Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS), and Grazingland Spatial Analysis Tool (GSAT). These tools, used daily in NRCS field offices, assist in conserving the nation’s natural resources.