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Missouri - Elsberry Plant Materials Center Highlights



Promote the use of reduced tillage and increased plant coverage on the soil

  • Comparing cover crop seeding rates to the cover crop standard
  • Plants developed for conservation cover to promote plant diversity, such as pollinator habitat
  • Evaluating selected cover crops in new tree plantings 
  • Evaluating selected cover crop varieties to determine which work best for the service area


Develop Forages for Pasture, Hay and Biofuels to Provide Permanent Cover

  • Released Ozark Germplasm little bluestem for the southern service area (southern MO and IL) and finalizing the release of a northern selection of little bluestem for the northern service area (IA and northern MO, IL)
  • 'Cave-in-Rock' switchgrass, 'Rountree' and 'OZ-70' big bluestem, and 'Rumsey' Indiangrass improve summer forage for livestock and provide wildlife habitat, while controlling erosion.
  • Evaluate perennial warm-season grasses for vegetative barriers and herbaceous wind barriers.


Control runoff and increase wildlife habitat

  • Evaluating cover crops in a corn and soybean rotation and how it affects water quality and soil health
  • Native shrub species, 'Midwest Premium' American plum and 'Sun Harvest' American hazelnut provide field borders, wind breaks, and wildlife food and cover.
  • False indigo bush is a wetland species used for wildlife habitat, streambank stabilization, and upland covey headquarter plantings for quail.
  • Multiple use native species developed for native mixtures. 'Cuivre River' Virginia wild rye used for filter strips and wetland berms, and little bluestem and Grayhead coneflower used for upland buffers.