Plant Materials Center Update
Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for March 2, 2023:
As of 2/28/23 sales were $1,615,464. That is an increase of $10,764 since this time last week and an increase of over $100,000 from this time last year. The PMC has sold 1,716,148 plants this year so far and 10,931 in the past week. Sales typically decrease by March but do not stop. Even if they did uncharacteristically suddenly stop PMC Plant Sales would end up exceeding the sales budget by over $200,000. While the PMC plant availability list (wacdpmc.org) has become unusually short, there are still a lot of fine conservation plants looking to find forever homes.
As of 2/28/23 1,637,474 plants have been harvested. That is an increase of 118,500 plants in the past week, which is an average of 25,000 plants per day. So far most of the harvest crew has stayed to complete harvest. Hopefully, that continues. If it does, harvest could be finished by the end of next week. If not, it will be very, very close to completion. Fingers crossed!
It has been another busy shipping week, a lot like the last several weeks. As of 2/28/23 a total of 1,250,338 plants have been shipped or picked up. That is an increase of 315,610 plants in the last week, which is a lot of plants in one week. The rate of shipping has been challenging but it has resulted in one welcome benefit and that is making room in the cooler for more plants. Week in and week out, the number of plants shipped has been similar to the number of plants harvested which means fewer plants in the cooler. In the past, there have been up to three refrigerated semi-trailers in the parking lot holding excess plants that would not fit in the cooler this time of year. Currently, there are not any trailers in the parking lot. That reduces costs, time spent moving stock in and out of them, and the noise and hassle of running them. There has been one trailer here off and on the past month and there will be one next week that will bring in our transplant plugs. Yes, the PMC is starting to think about returning to the growing mode!
Most of what is ahead has been covered in the preceding sections. Maybe finish harvest next week and start moving towards transplanting season. Before that can proceed, however, the fields will need to be cleaned up. Shipping will continue through April and into May, although we prefer to see our plants getting planted sooner than that. Waiting until May to plant bare root seedlings and live stakes carries the increased risk of drought stress and deterioration of stock due to prolonged cooler storage.
Check Out the Latest Episode of the Forest Overstory Podcast
The podcast “The Forest Understory” is produced by WSU Extension Forestry and Washington State DNR. It highlights forest management issues in Washington State of concern to forest land owners and those interested in our region’s forests. It is hosted by Patrick Schuls with DNR and Kevin Zobrist of WSU Extension Forestry. The latest episode, episode 15, is titled “Growing the Next Generation of Trees with Jim Brown” with yours truly, Jim Brown, as the guest. In it, we cover the history of the PMC, what is produced here and how it is produced, as well as recent trends and challenges in the industry. Spoiler Alert: It is long and dry, but it covers a lot of information that could be of interest or use to those lining up and acquiring stock for planting projects. Check it out if you do not have anything better to do for 53 minutes. It can be found on Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts to name a few.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions. You can find older posts about the Plant Materials Center at https://hub.wadistricts.org/topics/wacd/pmc/
Director of Nursery Operations