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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: USDA NRCS Plant Materials Centers: 75 years of native grasses for conservation
Year: 2010
Author(s): Garner, R.
Source Title:
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 82
Original Publication:  
Abstract: The NRCS Plant Materials Program (PMP) was created to provide plants for the Soil Erosion Experiment Stations developed by Hugh H. Bennett. In the 75 years since the creation of The Soil Conservation Service the East Region Plant Materials Centers have produced 45 releases of 25 species of native grasses for the eastern US. These grasses have provided habitat for wildlife, biomass for fuel and forage, stabilization of coastal areas and shorelines and controlled erosion improving air and water quality. Releases such as ‘Highlander’ eastern gamagrass produce 13,952 kg ha-1 of dry matter (DM) with a crude protein (CP) content of 10% as compared to 11,155 kg ha-1 DM and 7% CP for ‘Tifton 44’ bermudagrass. The PMP has released eastern gamagrass adapted to Florida, Georgia, New York and Maryland. The program has produced 8 releases of switchgrass adapted to the eastern region, including Timber germplasm in 2009. The PMP strives to increase the use and productivity of native grasses throughout the region. This includes developing technology for using native grasses for poultry odor attenuation, components of pollinator borders, vegetative barriers, and borders.
Publisher: Proceedings of the Seventh Eastern Native Grass Symposium. Knoxville, TN, October 5-8, 2010
Editor(s): C. Harper