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ETPMC

East Texas Plant Materials Center (ETPMC)
Serving areas in the States of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and East Texas

Established: 1982
Size: 75 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: United States Forest Service

Wild turkey in healthy pine understory with wildflowers in foreground

The East Texas Plant Materials Center (ETPMC) was established in 1982 as a joint venture of the Deep East and Northeast Texas Association of Conservation Districts and the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU).  It was originally located on the SFASU Beef Farm, and in 1987 the center was moved to its current location on the US Forest Service Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest.  The mission of the ETPMC is to develop plant-based solutions for conservation needs in the Western Coastal Plain.

The ETPMC has a diverse service area covering 44 million acres in East Texas, Northwest Louisiana, Southwest Arkansas, and Southeast Oklahoma.  It is comprised of bottomland hardwoods, upland pine forests, croplands, and rangelands.  Major resource concerns include primarily soil health, water quality improvement, declining longleaf and shortleaf pine ecosystems, wildlife habitat improvement, and degraded pastureland.  These resource concerns are addressed through the selection of native plants, plant-based technology development, and education through public outreach.

The ETPMC has 5 active plant releases and is currently focused on development of understory species for longleaf and shortleaf pine habitat restoration.

Highlights

DECLINING LONGLEAF AND SHORTLEAF PINE ECOSYSTEMS

  • Coastal Plains Germplasm little bluestem, pinehill bluestem, split beard bluestem, and pineywoods dropseed are native warm season perennial grasses commercially available or under evaluation as fine fuels to carry fire through these declining habitats and for wildlife conservation.
  • Cajun Sunrise Germplasm ashy sunflower, swamp sunflower, and prairie blazing star provide species richness in conservation seed mixes.
  • Plants released for commercial production and plants under evaluation are tested throughout the Southeast to expand their area of use in shortleaf and longleaf pine habitat.

DECLINING WILDLIFE HABITAT

Utilizing native plants for wildlife habitat improvement

  • Forage, cover, bedding areas, and travel corridors for a variety of game and non-game animals are provided by ‘Nacogdoches’ eastern gamagrass, Harrison Germplasm Florida paspalum, Coastal Plains Germplasm little bluestem, and splitbeard bluestem.
  • Crockett Germplasm herbaceous mimosa, a warm-season, perennial legume, provides high quality forage for white-tailed deer and excellent bugging sites for large game birds such as the eastern wild turkey.
  • Cajun Sunrise Germplasm ashy sunflower, Crocket Germplasm herbaceous mimosa, swamp sunflower, and prairie blazing star provide nectar for pollinating insects including the monarch butterfly.

SOIL HEALTH AND PROTECTION

Utilizing plant technology to protect and improve degraded soils

  • Commercially available cover crops are evaluated for adaptation and use for soil improvement in the Western Coastal Plain.
  • NRCS rainfall simulator demonstrates the benefits of soil health as it relates to water quality, surface erosion, and infiltration rates during outreach events. 
  • Crocket Germplasm herbaceous mimosa provides ground cover for soil protection and as N source in conservation plantings.

OUTREACH AND COMMUNICATION

Promote plant material programs and conservation

  • Common Flora of East Texas Version I, is a plant identification training aid for NRCS field office personnel.
  • Native Pollinator Plants of East Texas and the Western Coastal Plain, Native Soft Mast of East Texas and the Western Coastal Plain, and Native Legumes of East Texas and the Western Coastal Plain are brochures that provide general information such as growing period, distribution, blooming dates, and planting information on these important conservation plants.
  • USDA NRCS East Texas Plant Materials Center Longleaf Understory Plant Development is a poster presentation highlighting the ETPMC’s plant development work for understory restoration in the longleaf pine ecosystem.
  • Constructed Wetlands for On-Site Septic Treatment is a brochure focusing on the use and benefits of wetland plants for water quality improvement and the treatment of waste in an anaerobic septic system.
  • YouTube video covering the application and use of various types of seed drills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4HdYyV7ccY

East Texas Plant Materials Center
6598 FM2782
Nacogdoches, TX 75964
Phone: (936) 564-4873
Fax: (936) 552-7924