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Mississippi - Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center

Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center (MSPMC)
Serving areas in the States of Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, and Tennessee

Established: 1960
Size: 250 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: United States Forest Service

Members of a local garden club enjoy a tour of the Jamie L. WhittenPlant Materials Center on a wonderful autumn day.The Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center (MSPMC) works closely with NRCS field offices and land managers on a broad range of conservation concerns and issues. Major issues in the Center’s service area include pasture land improvement, cropland erosion control, critical area erosion control, urban conservation, wildlife habitat enhancement, and water quality improvement.

The Center’s service area includes all of Mississippi except the coastal counties, eastern Louisiana, the Blackland Prairie of central Alabama, the delta region of Arkansas, and portions of Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. Corn, soybeans, cotton, rice timber and grazinglands dominate the service area. Continuous cropping of cotton and soybeans using conventional methods is a major concern in the MSPMC service area. The Center has researched and developed technology for native plant herbicide tolerance, Wetland Reserve Program seeding establishment, propagation of wetland plants, and native grass potential for biofuels.

The Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center has released a number of improved conservation plants including those used in wetland mitigation plantings, erosion control on stream banks, riparian buffers, urban conservation, culturally significant plants used in basket making, and wildlife habitat.

Highlights

AGRICULTURAL LANDS

Maintain and improve productivity of agricultural lands
  • Conservation Practice Standard 601, provides methodology for the use of stiff grass hedges as vegetative barriers on sloping cropland.
  • 'Highlander' eastern gamagrass provides quality forage throughout the Southeast.
  • Limited resource farmers assisted through the development of production practices for cover crops in sweet potato and peanut cropping systems.

ENHANCING WILDLIFE HABITAT

Wildlife resources for declining habitats
  • Lark Germplasm partridge pea, 'Quail Haven' reseeding soybean, 'Meechee' arrowleaf clover, and 'Chiwapa' Japanese millet are meeting wildlife habitat needs throughout the Mid-South.
  • Upland game bird habitat is enhanced through evaluation of the yields of sunflower hybrids in relation to soil type, improving recommendations of NRCS wildlife biologists.
  • Provide training to landowners, government agencies, and conservation groups on the establishment of native warm-season grasses in Mississippi.

ASSISTING COMMERCIAL SEED GROWERS WITH CONSERVATION PLANT MATERIAL

Promoting commercial production of Mississippi PMC products
  • Provide training for field days and workshops for commercial seed growers in the production of conservation plant material.
  • Develop best management practices that enhance seed yields for commercial producers of conservation plants.
  • Conservation plant materials are provided for installation of demonstration plantings to highlight conservation practices.

Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center
2533 County Rd. 65
Coffeeville, MS 38922-2652
Telephone: 662-675-2588
Fax: 662-675-2369