James E. 'Bud' Smith Plant Materials Center (TXPMC)
Serving areas in the States of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
Size: 137.5 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: Private
The James E. “Bud” Smith Plant Materials Center began in San Antonio, Texas in 1935 as the San Antonio Nursery. The nursery was later moved to Spur and then to its present home in Knox City. The Knox City Plant Materials Center (TXPMC) was renamed in 1967 in honor of James E. “Bud” Smith for his pioneering work in plant science.
The Center provides plant solutions for central Texas, southern Oklahoma, and parts of Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico. The wide range in topography, climatic factors, and vegetation results in a diverse and unique service area.
Plant and technology development objectives of the Center include soil health, wind and water erosion control, range and pasture improvement, wildlife habitat improvement, and water quality improvement on agricultural land.
The James E. “Bud” Smith Plant Materials Center has developed over 30 improved conservation plants including varieties of sideoats grama, switchgrass, Indiangrass, big bluestem, Texas dropseed, little bluestem, Illinois bundleflower, Engelmann’s daisy, bur oak, Maximilian sunflower, and partridge pea.
ENERGY AND RESOURCES DEMANDS
Increase the alternative uses of conservation plants
- 'Alamo' switchgrass restores and improves pasture and rangeland plantings and has the potential to be used as a biofuel crop in the Rolling Red Plains.
- Improving biofuel quality of warm-season grasses through in-field weathering of the standing biomass.
- Evaluating and assessing plant material as candidates for bioenergy.
- Evaluating the adaptability of 'Tropic Sun' sunn hemp as nitrogen source for crop production and candidate for biofuel production in the Texas Rolling Red Plains.
LIVESTOCK FORAGE AND WILDLIFE HABITAT
Healthy plant and animal communities
- 'Selection 75' Kleingrass, San Marcos Germplasm Eastern Gamagrass and 'Lometa' Indiangrass developed for summer forage for livestock.
- 'Sabine' Illinois Bundleflower, Plains Germplasm Prairie Acacia, ‘Comanche’ Partridge Pea, 'Eldorado' Engelmann’s Daisy, and 'Aztec' Maximilian Sunflower developed for inclusion in range mixes for livestock and wildlife habitat.
- Improve grazing management practices by collecting growth curves and nutritional quality of forage of native grasses.
- Develop warm-season perennial legumes for inclusion in range and wildlife plantings.
- Evaluation of biomass and quality of warm-season perennial grasses for use as a winter standing hay crop.
CONSERVE AND ENHANCE SOIL RESOURCES
Maintain and improve soil productivity
- Improve soil health on crop land within the service area by identifying adapted cover crop species and developing management practices.
- 'Saltalk' Alkali Sacaton, Duck Creek Germplasm Texas Dropseed and Potter County Germplasm Dropseed developed for saline site reclamation.
- Identifying salt tolerant native plants for use on agricultural lands.
- Improving establishment and drought tolerance of Sand Bluestem for improved productivity on droughty soils.
James E. “Bud” Smith Plant Materials Center
3776 FM 1292
Knox City, TX 79529-2514