Manhattan Plant Materials Center
Serving areas in the States of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma
Size: 169.5 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: NRCS
The Manhattan Plant Materials Center (KSPMC) develops plants and new plant technologies for America’s heartland. The Center offers services to a diverse region of the heartland including northeastern Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and northern Oklahoma. The Center is located on sandy loam soil in the Kansas River Valley, southwest of Manhattan, Kansas. The primary objective of the Center is to develop plant materials and technology for conservation innovation.
Plant and technology development objectives of the KSPMC include water quality and soil health improvement, wildlife and pollinator habitat improvement, erosion protection, and plant development/seed production. The Center’s primary studies include work on the effects of seed quality and planting methods in native species stand establishment/enhancement, cover crop species performance, and varietal differences among cereal grain type cover crops. The Center develops management and cultural techniques necessary for the establishment and acceptance of promising plant materials by the conservation community. The staff also produces limited quantities of breeder class seed and plants to stimulate commercial production of its releases.
The Manhattan Plant Materials Center has developed 30 improved conservation plants, including varieties of big bluestem, Indiangrass, switchgrass, sideoats grama, purple prairie clover, and little bluestem.