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Plant Materials For Conservation

Program Descriptions

Program Number



Plant Materials For Conservation


Federal Agency




Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1936, as amended, Public Law 74-46.






To assemble, evaluate, select, release, and introduce into commerce, and promote the use of new and improved plant materials for soil, water, and related resource conservation and environmental improvement programs. To develop technology for land management and restoration with plant materials. To transfer technology on plant materials.


Types of Assistance

Provision of Specialized Services.


Uses and Use Restrictions

Plant materials are used in all phases of the soil and water conservation program. This program emphasizes field testing to determine the plant's value and restoration techniques. It is limited to conservation cooperators properties in conjunction with soil conservation districts, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, State Crop Improvement Associations and other Federal and State agencies. The program also provides commercial seed growers with breeder and foundation quality seed or propagules. Other plants or seed are not provided to the general public. Large-scale production is conducted by cooperating commercial producers. Free plants, seed and/or grants are not available to nurseries or the public.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Cooperating State and Federal agencies and cooperators of conservation districts where structured evaluations are conducted and commercial seed growers and nurserymen interested in the commercial production of selected plant materials. Applicants are also eligible in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The general public is not eligible to participate in this program.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Cooperating State and Federal agencies and cooperators of conservation districts and commercial seed growers and nurserymen interested in the production of selected plant materials. Applicants are also eligible in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.




Application and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure

Contact the local Natural Resources Conservation Service office.

Award Procedure

Not applicable.



Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.


Not applicable.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula and no matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.


Post Assistance Requirements


Not applicable.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.


Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries and expenses) FY 07 $12,243,487; FY 08 est $10,858,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.


Program Accomplishments

About 450 releases of grasses, legumes, forbs, shrubs, and trees have been developed and made available for commercial increase through this program. Uses include erosion control and sediment reduction, roadside and stream bank protection, wetlands restoration, buffer strip establishment, surface-mined land reclamation, biofuels, and wildlife food and cover. The annual commercial production of NRCS released grasses, legumes and woody plants by commercial seed growers and nurserymen is equivalent to the amount required to establish vegetative cover on over 2,000,000 acres of land.


Regulations, Guidelines and Literature

"National Plant Materials Manual; "Grass Seed Production and Harvest in the Great Plains," FB 2226; "Building, Planting and Maintaining Sand Dunes," L 42; "Grasses and Legumes for Soil Conservation in the Pacific Northwest and Great Basin States," AH 339. "Conservation Plants for the Northeast," NRCS, USDA Program Aid No. 1154; "Plant Performance on Surface Coal Mine Spoil in the Eastern United States," NRCS TP 155; "Plant Materials For Conservation," NRCS Program Aid No. 1219; "Plant Materials For Use On Surfaced Mined Land in Arid and Semiarid Regions," NRCS TP 157; "New Plants For Conservation," NRCS Environmental Quality Aid; "Grass Varieties in the United States," SCS Handbook 170. "Native Grass Seed Production Manual," USDA-NRCS, DU-Canada; "Vegetating With Native Grasses in Northeastern North America," USDA-NRCS, DU-Canada. An internet homepage with more information may be found at: http://plantmaterials


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

NRCS State offices and field offices. See Appendix IV.

Headquarters Office

Deputy Chief For Science and Technology, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013. Telephone: (202) 720-4630.

Web Site Address


Related Programs

10.902, Soil And Water Conservation
10.904, Watershed Protection And Flood Prevention


Examples of Funded Projects

Not applicable.


Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.


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