The PMC Update for October 21, 2021

Field prepared for planting
Field prepared for planting

Sales

Sales just keep rolling in. Sales Manager Jacquie is keeping busy, helping customers with their orders and entering them. Lori is busy invoicing for deposits and tracking that part of the process. As live stakes ship out, she is also invoicing for the balance owed and keeping track of that. They should have time to do a sales report next week so we can see how far sales are ahead of previous years.

Financials

Live stakes in cooler
Live stakes in cooler

October financials will not be finished until after the end of the month. I can provide one bit of information they will include. A customer needed to pay now for a large order for next year. The total was over $133,000 which was deposited in a money market account at Edward Jones. Depositing it at Banner Bank would have resulted in exceeding the $250,000 FDIC limit. The deposit will be tracked as a liability until the plants ship in case we do not deliver the plants for whatever reason.

Live Stake Harvest Continues

The crew has kept busy harvesting live stakes for customers who need them early. John kept the crew focused in the right direction while I was away on vacation. So far, they have processed over 50,000 stakes of different species in sizes ranging from 3’ to 6’ so far this fall. They are finishing up the last few orders which will be all we need for now until we receive a request for more early stakes.

Fall Seed Planting Continues

Fall seed planting continues as weather and seed availability permit and right now those are very limiting factors. The forecast for the week ahead is for rain which is okay since our primary seed collector is still collecting and processing seeds. This is not unusual and every year the remaining seed and weather align so that we can be finished before harvest.

Waiting for Dormancy 

After spending the better part of two or three years planning, planting, and growing a crop, we are anxiously anticipating them to go dormant for two reasons: we cannot lift non-dormant bare-root seedlings, and they do not achieve maximum cold hardiness until they are dormant. The latter is an existential threat, especially for a few species. Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock, Red Alder, and a few others tend to continue growing until the weather gets cold enough to induce dormancy. That typically requires an accumulation of approximately 400 hours below 40° F, which is their chill requirement.  We have accumulated some hours below 40 but have a way to go. Hopefully, that happens before we get any temps below 30. If a sudden cold snap occurs before then, these species are at risk of winter damage or kill. Some protection can be provided by running irrigation on the at-risk species. The water contains some latent heat which provides a modicum of protection against freezing. Time will tell if this will be needed, but hopefully not because turning on irrigation on a dark, cold night is not fun!

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Jim Brown, WACD PMC Nursery Manager
https://wacdpmc.org/about-us