Elsberry Plant Materials Center
Serving areas in the States of Illinois, Iowa and Missouri
Size: 243 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: NRCS
The Elsberry Plant Materials Center (MOPMC) develops plants and new planting technologies for Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. The area includes; glacial till prairies, Mississippi valley; loess hills, Iowa and Mississippi deep loess heavy till plains; thin loess hills and plains, Mississippi valley slopes; and the Ozark highlands.
The priority resource concerns for the MOPMC are water quality and soil health. In recent years, the focus has been on soil health, primarily looking at the benefits of a reduced tillage with a cover crop component. Major land uses include corn, soybeans, cattle, and swine farming. Other resource concerns are cropland erosion, livestock forage production, shoreline/streambank erosion, point sources of pollution from concentrated animal by-products, wildlife habitat and wetland loss; and non-point pollution sources from agricultural lands.
The Center has developed more than 80 conservation plants including sideoats grama, big bluestem, prairie coreopsis, pale purple coneflower, thickspike gayfeather, tall dropseed, and stiff goldenrod. Technologies for hay and pasture management, native plant establishment, windbreaks, and wildlife habitat are developed. There has been a shift in the work at the MOPMC from conservation plant releases to information technology and trying to provide answers to questions NRCS field staff have.