Plant Materials Center update: January 27, 2022

Image a Foggy Fall Seedbed
Foggy Fall Seedbed

Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for January 27, 2022:

COVID Update

More people are out on COVID protocols than before and it is making more work for everyone who is here. There are currently six people out due to COVID protocols. In addition , there were three others out on Monday for other reasons so almost half of the crew was missing that day. It has slowed progress but not stopped it.

Everyone is required to wear masks as well as follow the usual social distancing, sanitation procedures, staying home when not feeling well, and getting tested and encouraged to get vaccinated. Fortunately, the current strain does not appear to be as severe and everyone is recovering and returning with a negative test.

Sales

As of January 27, 2022 sales were $1,509,604 and on February 9, 2021 sales were $962,740, showing a 36% increase from last year. The budget amount for PMC plant sales for the entire fiscal year is $1,200,000 so sales have already exceeded budget by 20% and that number increases by the day. Yes, sales have exceeded $1.5 million. Keep in mind that some of those sales may be affected by cancellations and decreases in available stock due to fall down or actual quantities less than the field inventory numbers. It can also be safely stated that additional sales will continue to come in through April. Stay tuned and hang on!

Harvest

As of January 27, 2022, the PMC has harvested 1,087,600 plants. 70,000 of those were live stakes harvested in the fall which means that over 1 million plants have been harvested since the start on December 1st.  That is an average of 29,000 plants per day which is a little less than we would like to see. The current surge in COVID is affecting production but not as much as one would think given the number of employees out due to COVID protocol and the time lost due to the cold, snowy weather in late December.

There is still approximately 30 work days available for harvest which should be enough time to lift and process another 1 million plants needed to make sales. Of course, that depends on the weather and having fewer people due to COVID protocols.

Shipping

Photo of Field 1 flooding
Field 1 flooding

Over 100,000 plants were shipped or picked up last week. The week ahead shows no signs of letting up. There have been 497,916 plants shipped this season to date.  That number will exceed half a million before the end of the day this Monday!

Weather

The weather has fortunately been dry for the past several days. Foggy, but dry. After the flooding in early December and the snow in late December, there is ample moisture in the ground. Over the past few weeks, the aquifer has recharged to the point that it is resulting in surface water standing in the low swale in the front field. Usually, the only time there is water in that field is when the Samish River floods severely.  Events like these are reminders of why that ground has not been used or developed. It is also unsuitable for bare root production due to its gravelly nature. It was once a channel of the Samish River.

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

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