|| Englert, J., Skaradek, W. B., van der Grinten, M., Miller, C. F., Salon, P.
||Native cool-season grass development has received little attention in the past. This changed with the passage of the 1996 Farm Bill Program and a growing desire by agencies and resource managers to have native cool-season grasses available for conservation plantings. There
are virtually no commercially grown cultivars or tested selections available for the Northeast. The plant materials program of the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service initiated a study in 1999 to collect, evaluate, select, and release native cool-season grasses with known origin to be commercially produced with seed available for use in the Northeast. The three plant material centers (PMCs) in the Northeast (the National PMC in Maryland, the Cape May PMC in New Jersey, and the Big Flats PMC in New York) are interested in the following grasses: Canada bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis), stout woodreed (Cinna arundinacea), drooping woodreed (Cinna latifolia), poverty oatgrass (Danthonia spicata), crinkled hairgrass
(Deschampsia flexuosa), Canada wild rye (Elymus canadensis), hairy wild rye (Elymus villosus), Virginia wild rye (Elymus virginicus), red fescue (Festuca rubra), little barley (Hordeum pusillum), bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix), and junegrass (Koeleria cristata). Field collection of these species was made from 1999 to 2003, and they are currently being evaluated at each plant materials center. At the conclusion of the evaluation process, plants will be released as cultivars or tested/selected source-identified releases. With these new plant releases in the near future, resource managers will have the opportunity to incorporate native cool-season grasses in
their conservation seedings. For more information on conservation plantings, see our Web site at http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov.