NB_190_21_19 - NB 190-21-19 ECS – State Plant Materials Needs Assessment Update
NB 190-21-19 ECS – State Plant Materials Needs Assessment Update
National Bulletin: 190-21-19 Date: July 12, 2021
Subject: ECS – State Plant Materials Needs Assessment Update

Action Requested By:  August 27, 2021
Purpose.  To solicit State plant materials information and technology needs through State plant materials committees or a similar process.   
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2021
Background.  The Plant Materials Program identifies and tracks State and field needs for plant materials information and technology with a needs assessment. In FY 2021, the needs assessment was converted to a SharePoint list to facilitate dynamic updates. Updating this assessment enables Plant Materials Centers (PMCs) to focus efforts on activities and product development that are in support of NRCS conservation delivery.

Explanation.  All States are asked to assess their new and previous needs for plant materials information, new conservation plants, technology, training, field plantings, and demonstration plantings. Needs must be within the authority of the Plant Materials Program, achievable in a reasonable time period, and have plant materials staff expertise or collaborator involvement to accomplish. State resource conservationists (SRC) along with the State plant materials contacts or plant materials employee are responsible for updating and completing the needs assessment.

States should ideally collect plant materials needs through the State plant materials committee referred to in Title 190, National Plant Materials Manual, Part 540, Subpart A, Section 540.0E(7), to gather, review, and prioritize needs at the State, area, and field levels. States that have an active State plant materials committee and have completed this process within the past year may use that information to update the plant materials needs assessment. In the absence of an active State plant materials committee, States may want to survey State, area, and field staff to assess and prioritize plant materials needs as completely as possible.

Our goal with this update is to convey to States what PMCs have completed or are working on, determine if the items PMCs have not started are still a priority, and to input new plant materials needs. It is important that SRCs provide an adequate description of the need and a contact for more information, as well as a priority (high, medium, or low) to help the plant materials program identify the highest priorities for PMCs to address. Inclusion of your State-identified plant materials needs will ensure that PMCs have the information needed to incorporate appropriate activities into future PMC business plans. States may ask for assistance with the assessment process through their servicing State plant materials specialist, PMC manager, or national technology support center (NTSC) plant materials specialist.

Instructions for reviewing and updating the Plant Materials Needs Assessment are attached to this bulletin as well as posted on the Plant Materials Needs Assessment SharePoint site.

Please review and update the plant materials needs assessment by August 27, 2021.

Contact.  Please direct questions to John Englert, National Program Leader-Plant Materials, Ecological Sciences Division, at John.Englert@wdc.usda.gov or (202) 720-0536.


Deputy Chief for Science and Technology


 Attachment A - Plant Materials Needs Assessment Guidance for State Staff
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