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NYPMC

Big Flats Plant Materials Center (NYPMC)
Serving the States of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont

Established: 1940
Size: 203 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: NRCS

Monarch butterfly feeding in a field of native wildflowersThe Big Flats Plant Materials Center (NYPMC) develops plant-based conservation technologies and adapted plants for the Northeast U.S. This area includes not only some significant metropolitan areas, but vast areas of sparsely populated regions that are ecologically and agriculturally important. Much of the NYPMC’s service area is dominated by forest, but the region also has grasslands, plateaus, coastal zones, and wetlands. These natural areas contribute important ecosystem services such as protecting water supplies, buffering shorelines, streams, and rivers, and sequestering carbon in soils and vegetation.

The Northeast is characterized by a diverse climate, with bitterly cold winters, humid summers and a short growing season. Due to these climatic conditions, the Northeast has a wide diversity of agricultural operations, from small family farms to large dairy and livestock farming operations. Commercial fishing, fruit and vegetable production, and forestry products are also very prevalent and contribute significantly to the economy within the region. The NYPMC provides information and plant technology tools that aid NRCS field office personal, public and private entities, soil and water conservation districts and other federal agencies to address resources concerns and improve conservation practices applied to the land.

The NYPMC has developed plants and plant-based technology for improving forage production, creating and enhancing buffers, stabilizing streambanks, cover crop species selection and establishment, improving soil health and soil health practices, establishing living snow fences and windbreaks, establishing pollinator habitat. Establishing working relationships with soil and water conservation districts, universities, state and local governments and other federal agencies is critical for us to carry out the NYPMC’s mission.

Resource concerns addressed by the NYPMC are cover crops and soil health; water quality and nutrient management; native plants; agroforestry; wildlife habitat for pollinators, monarchs and other beneficial organisms; and critical area stabilization.

Highlights

PROTECTING AGRICULTURAL LANDS

Conserving soil resources and soil health, and reducing erosion in farming systems

  • ‘Aroostook’ cereal rye (Secale cereale) conservation plant release- a late season cover crop used extensively on croplands with short growing season. 
  • Collaborating with other PMC’s, multiple partners and other federal agencies on cover crop species and cultivars research and hold annual, on-farm workshops to promote cover crops and soil health. 
  • Present research findings in technical documents for NRCs field office staff and eFOTG.

Critical and Disturbed Areas

Develop suitable conservation plants and plant technologies for erosion control, improve water quality, and nutrient management

WILDLIFE HABITAT 

Enhance biological diversity and wildlife resources

  • Plant releases of native shrubs and grasses 
  • Conducted field studies and developed publications including a seeding rate calculator, to determine appropriate species selection of wildflowers and native grasses for pollinator habitat enhancement.
  • Training sessions and workshops promoting soil bioengineering techniques for streambank stabilization.
  • Increasing species diversity by evaluating conservation traits of native willow species commonly found in the Northeast.  
  • Updating and creating available technical information for NRCS staff, as well as working with Xerces Society on establishment, maintenance, and long-term success of pollinator, monarch, and beneficial insect habitat.

CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT PLANTS

Provide technical and propagation information on plants found in culturally and historically sensitive areas

  • Deliver technical assistance and hosted workshops for Tribes and NRCS staff in the Northeast. 
  • Provid sweetgrass to the IAC, INCA, tribal leaders, and tribal members across the northeast and other states.

Big Flats Plant Materials Center
3266 State Route 352
Corning, NY 14830-0360
Phone: (607) 358-6009
Fax: (855) 401-1955