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New York - Big Flats Plant Materials Center

Big Flats Plant Materials Center (NYPMC)
Serving the States of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont

Established: 1940
Size: 200 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: NRCS

Wildrye evaluation blockThe Big Flats Plant Materials Center (NYPMC) selects plants and provides vegetative conservation solutions for the Northeast region. The Center provides service to Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Dairies, fruit, and truck crops dominate the area’s agriculture. Large areas are forested, producing significant amounts of timber. Products include lumber, pulpwood, Christmas trees, firewood, and maple syrup. Non-agricultural activities play a role in the use of conservation plants; including surface mining, expanded land transportation systems, heavy urban development, and increasing recreational facilities. Large forest holdings are used for watershed protection, such as the New York City Water Supply that provides 1.4 billion gallons of water per day for 9 million people.

Six major objectives addressed by the Center are cropland erosion/soil health; water quality; native plants; biofuels/agroforestry; wildlife habitat improvement; and critical area stabilization.


The Big Flats Plant Materials Center has developed plants and technology for improving forage production, buffer strips, streambank stabilization, cover crops, living snow fences and windbreaks, assisted the National Park Service with disturbed areas, and has established working relationships with many collaborators including universities, state and local governments and other federal agencies.

Highlights

PROTECTING AGRICULTURAL LANDS

Conserving soil resources and improving water quality in farming systems
  • Aroostook rye, a late season cover crop, is used extensively on croplands throughout the northeast
  • Cover Crops in Corn – A Guide for Corn Producers provides producers with technology for using cover crops in corn production.
  • Developed a cropping system to establish cover crops at time of corn planting, collaborating with universities on cover crop research, held on-farm workshops to promote cover crops and soil health and created an informational publication.

ENERGY SECURITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Increase plant use as sustainable biofuels and renewable energy
  • A breeding program of native northeast warm-season grasses provides plant material and technology for producing sustainable bioenergy feedstock and enhancing carbon sequestration.
  • Publications on the biomass yields and quality of warm-season grasses for bioenergy and biofeedstock field days provide information to producers on efficiently growing crops for bioenergy.
  • Tall wheatgrass and intermediate wheatgrass cultivars are evaluated as possible additional crops for bioenergy feedstock for the northeast.

DECLINING FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITAT

Enhance biological diversity and wildlife resources
  • Fish and wildlife habitat is enhanced by the development of native shrubs and grasses for the northeast.
  • Vegetating with Native Grasses in Northeastern North America provides guidance to landowners on establishing native grasses.
  • A Guide to Conservation Plantings on Critical Areas for the Northeast provides guidance to landowners for critical area seedings and conservation planting in the Northeast.
  • Conducted field studies and developed publications including a seeding rate calculator to determine species selection of wildflowers for pollinator enhancement in the Northeast.
  • Fish habitat and water quality is improved in the northeast through training sessions and workshops promoting soil bioengineering techniques for streambank stabilization.
  • Biological diversity for streambank stabilization is increased through workshops teaching native willow identification for collecting and developing new species.

Big Flats Plant Materials Center
3266-A State Route 352
Corning, NY 14830-0360
Telephone: 607-562-8404
Fax: 607-562-8516