Plant Materials Center update: February 24, 2022

Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for February 24, 2022:

Sales

As of 2/24/22 sales stood at $1,510,171 which is 32% over this time last year when sales were $1,025,653. That is a phenomenal increase but it appears that the rate of new sales is starting to slow. This time last month sales were $1,509,343 which is not much less than now. One reason for the relatively small increase in sales over the past month is partially due to cancelations for a variety of reasons.

In spite of the slowdown in new sales, the PMC is in uncharted territory sales-wise and working hard to get to the end of the season. Getting there has proven challenging as noted in the weather section below.

Harvest

1.6 million plants have been harvested this season so far. We would like to be a little farther along right now but the weather has made achieving these goals difficult (see below).  It looks like we will be back at it going hard next week.

Shipping

As of 2/24/22 953,690 have shipped out or picked up. That is a record to date. This time last year 650,000 had shipped. There have been a few conservation districts that have received their plants for their plant sales and a few more CD plant sale orders will be going out in the coming week. It’s going to be busy getting all of that stock out, which has been made more challenging due to the weather (see below).

Operations

All equipment and facilities are operating normally. There is close to another month left in harvest and hopefully, that continues.

Weather

Photo of snow on the PMC fields
Snow at the PMC

As everyone knows, this has been a cold week and a snowy one in this area. No new plants were harvested this week because the ground was frozen and they were covered with snow. Once the weather breaks, we will get back to it.

One thing to take note of during an event like this is that harvest can and will be interrupted at some point during the winter and that can and will delay being able to supply some plants temporarily. Most customers can reschedule things until all of their plants are available.

CD plant sales are typically not that flexible. They have their sale dates scheduled.  Unfortunately, plant sales that are scheduled in February or early March are more likely to encounter these problems than ones in mid-March and later.

That fact should be considered when setting sale dates. An early sale might need to include contingencies if some stock won’t be available until after the sale. Another option would be to receive their plants earlier and place them in cold storage locally. That way if some things are not available when the main order goes out, there is time to receive the stragglers before the sale date. The main takeaway is that the PMC will do everything it can to fill everyone’s order in a timely manner but it is winter and things can be delayed.

If anyone wants to experience harvest challenges one should come and see what wintertime harvest is like.

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

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