Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center
Serving National and Regional needs and the Mid-Atlantic Region
Size: 283 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: NRCS
The Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center (NPMC) in Beltsville, Maryland, services both national and regional needs. The Center focuses on national initiatives and provides coordination and assistance for Plant Materials work across all 50 states. The regional activities include developing plants and technology to conserve natural resources in the Mid-Atlantic region, focusing on the Chesapeake Bay watershed including Maryland and parts of Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The Center is located on the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC). The BARC facility is owned and operated by the USDA and is dedicated to basic and applied agricultural research. The area consists of hardwood forests with numerous openings and fields. Soils on the center are mainly sandy loams, with areas of silt loam and clay. The land varies from gently sloping to moderately sloping. Conservation practices are necessary to prevent erosion.
The NPMC’s plant and technology development objectives include water quality and soil health, wildlife and pollinator habitat improvement, and livestock forage production. The primary studies include work on cover crop species performance and refining data and technology to improve conservation practices. The center also maintains several demonstration plantings, which are available for numerous educational and training opportunities. The center develops management and cultural technology necessary for the establishment and acceptance of promising plant materials by the conservation community.
The NPMC has developed new varieties of bermudagrass and black locust, and the Center has researched and published information on growing wildflowers and native grasses in the region.
PMC Manager/Natural Resource Specialist
R. Jay Ugiansky