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ORPMC

Corvallis Plant Materials Center (ORPMC)
Serving areas in the States of California, Oregon, and Washington

Established: 1957
Size: 58 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: Oregon State University

Photo of Corvallis PMC farmer, Tyler Ross, operating a tractor with a power spader tillage implement on the back during a field day on March 29, 2018.
The Corvallis Plant Materials Center (ORPMC) provides plant solutions for western Oregon, western Washington, and northwestern California. The Center’s service area includes the northern Pacific Coast Range, Willamette Valley and Puget Sound, as well as Olympic, Cascade, and Siskiyou Mountains of western Washington and Oregon.

Degraded soil health due to compaction, loss of soil organic matter, poor soil structure, and low microbial activity is a primary resource concern on cropland, pastureland, and forestland. Erosion from heavy rainfall during the winter is a critical problem on cultivated cropland, heavy use areas of pastures, logging areas, and roadsides. Water quality is a main concern in areas of concentrated livestock, farming, and urban activities. Degraded streambanks, wetlands, and upland prairies need enhancement and restoration for fish and wildlife habitat. Native pollinators and beneficial insects need habitat enhancement to maintain their populations and provide important crop pollination and pest control services.

The Corvallis Plant Materials Center’s primary mission is to develop new technology in plant propagation and establishment, seed production, revegetation, and restoration, and to develop new native plant sources for use in wetlands, uplands, and riparian areas.

Highlights

Development of cover crop technology for improving soil health

  • Develop technical publications and tools to increase adoption of cover crops such as the Pacific Northwest Cover Crop Selection Tool and the list of Cover Crop Seed Vendors for Western States.
  • Conduct trials to develop recommendations of adapted cover crop species and cultivars for the region.
  • Assist university and ARS crop breeders with development of improved varieties of legumes for use as cover crops.

On-farm habitat enhancement

  • Promote establishing, maintaining, and enhancing habitat for pollinators, beneficial insects, and other wildlife on working lands through field trials, training, and development of technical publications. Practices include hedgerows, windbreaks, riparian plantings, conservation cover, insectary plantings, buffer strips, and cover crops.

Conservation/restoration of rare and declining habitats

  • Develop recommendations for site preparation, seeding/planting installation, maintenance, and species selection for restoration of rare and declining habitats such as oak savannas, oak woodlands, upland prairies, coastal prairies, wetlands, and wet prairies in western Oregon and Washington.
  • Promote conservation of state- and federally-listed threatened and endangered (T&E) species by maintaining plantings of T&E species at the Center to serve as training and identification tools.
  • Provide technical information on the adaptation, establishment, commercial availability, and use of native plants through the development of Plant Guides and other technical publications.
  • Collaborate with US Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners to grow seed of select populations of T&E plant species and nectar/host plants for T&E butterflies in order to meet goals laid out in recovery plans.

Develop sources of appropriate native plants for conservation and restoration activities

  • Facilitate commercial availability of native plants and seed through development and publication of seed production and plant propagation protocols such as the Native Seed Production Manual for the Pacific Northwest.
  • Enhance wetland, riparian, and upland habitat in the Pacific Northwest through maintenance and distribution of seed/vegetative material for the Corvallis PMC’s 16 conservation plant materials releases of native trees, shrubs, forbs, and grasses.
  • Work with private industry and non-profit organizations to develop appropriate sources of native plants and seeds for conservation plantings in different ecoregions.

Corvallis Plant Materials Center
3415 NE Granger Avenue
Corvallis, OR 97330-9620
Phone: (541) 757-4812
Fax: (855) 651-9082