Skip Navigation

News Release

NRCS Plant Materials Center: Solving Local Resource Concerns


October 20, 2011

For More Information:
Tanner Blair, Acting Public Affairs Specialist, 701-530-2074

BISMARCK, ND October 20, 2011 �The Bismarck based Plant Materials Center (PMC) is leading the way in developing solutions to local resource concerns. With over 70 years of experience, the PMC offers technical assistance to NRCS field offices working with local farmers and ranchers. The PMC also works with field offices to assist local organizations, communities, and interested citizens with various conservation topics including grass seeding, native landscaping, tree plantings, soil productivity, wildlife habitat, and wetland enhancement.

�he Bismarck PMC is a key component to local resource conservation in the Northern Plains,�said State Conservationist Mary Podoll. �RCS field offices work with local producers to identify local resource concerns and, in turn, the PMC develops solutions to meet these concerns.�

Staffed with experts in the fields of forestry, agronomy, and plant materials, the PMC delivers planting solutions for the assorted landscapes of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. The region� varied geography and climate patterns challenge the PMC to produce a diverse array of technical assistance and plant varieties able to sustain and thrive in local environments.

�mall geographical changes can have a big impact on a plant� ability to grow,�stated Wayne Duckwitz, PMC manager. �t the PMC, we work with various federal and state agencies, universities, and nonprofit organizations to identify species of plants that will produce the best results in a given geographical location. We then pass this information along to the general public.�

NRCS operates 27 Plant Materials Centers throughout the U.S. allowing the agency to develop technical expertise needed to address local conservation problems. Whereas some PMC centers may concentrate on warmer climate vegetation or vegetation native to mountainous areas, the Bismarck PMC has focused its efforts on determining what species of plant work best in northern climates. To identify these species, the PMC sets up field plantings in cooperation with NRCS field offices and local farmers and ranchers. These plantings help the PMC gather plant performance data in a working lands setting.

Through its various research and testing projects, the Bismarck PMC has developed and released over 40 grass, forb, and tree varieties. These releases turn up as grasses and legumes planted in pastures, trees growing in shelterbelts, and plants living along shorelines.

�iven North Dakota� extreme weather conditions, there is a need for northern hardy plant materials for use in solving our area� conservation challenges.�said Duckwitz. �he PMC has a lot of good information available regarding vegetative planting and we are ready to help you identify a species of plant that is visually appealing, environmentally beneficial, and sustainable in northern climates.�

The PMC staff is available to help individuals interested in learning more about tree plantings, grass seeding, pollinator species, prairie restoration, wildlife habitat, wetland enhancement, and native landscaping. The center is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours and training for the general public or interested groups are also available upon request. More information on the plant materials program can be found at the following website: hppt://

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Mary Podoll or Wayne Duckwitz, please call Tanner Blair at 701-530-2074 or email Tanner at

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer."