Plant Materials Center Update: June 2, 2022

20220602 Spring Seedbed Panorama
20220602 Spring Seedbed Panorama

Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for June 2, 2022:

Sales

The cooler has been turned off and this year’s sales season is definitely over. A final sales report will be forthcoming but it will detail plant sales nearing $1.6 million. The PMC has received a number of orders for next year and they will soon be entered which will let us know how sales compare to last year’s banner year, as well as what we have available and what we are sold out of.

Spring Seed Planting Almost Complete

The PMC has just about finished planting its spring seedbed. The conifers are complete and will hopefully be geminating over the next few weeks. The hardwood species are also almost complete and will be once the Aspen seed arrives. We use fresh seed for Aspen which is currently being collected and processed. The conifer seedbed is 12,000-bed-feet and will be available spring 2024. The hardwood seedbed is 14,000-bed-feet. Some species like Blue Elderberry and Red Alder are grown for one season and will be harvested this winter. Other species like Mock Orange and Douglas Spirea are grown for two seasons and will be available winter 2024.

Fallow Ground

The PMC has approximately 14 acres in a fallow rotation annually. After harvest is complete the fallow ground receives an application of chicken manure and a cover crop of barley is planted. That returns needed organic matter to the soil as well as a wide variety of nutrients. Over half of that ground will be fall planted and the rest will be planted next spring.

Field Inventories

Jacquie is taking on the monumental task of conducting field inventories which entails using a one-bed-foot transect and counting everything within that plot to determine a statistical average number of plants per bed-foot. This helps us determine the number of plants that can be sold for each seed lot based on the number of bed-feet per lot. Those inventory numbers will then be entered into our sales/inventory software. Once the inventory is in then sales orders can be entered allowing us to determine sales and remaining availability.

Budget

Lori has been working on a draft budget for the next fiscal year and this year’s figures are going to be the most difficult to pin down. Costs for many budget line items have increased considerably and some vendors will not guarantee they can honor price quotes weeks or months in the future. Our hope is that some prices will come back down some but the way things are looking one should not hold their breath waiting for that to happen.

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

Jim Brown
Director of Nursery Operations