TN_190_PM_6 - TN 190-PM-6 - ECS-Plant Materials Program - Selecting, Planting, and Managing Grasses for Vegetative Barriers
TN 190-PM-6 - ECS-Plant Materials Program - Selecting, Planting, and Managing Grasses for Vegetative Barriers
Technical Notes: 190-PM-6    Date: July 13, 2021  
Subject: ECS-Plant Materials Program - Selecting, Planting, and Managing Grasses for Vegetative Barriers  


 
Purpose.  To distribute technical note, Title 190, Plant Materials (PM), Technical Note 06, “Selecting, Planting, and Managing Grasses for Vegetative Barriers”     
 
Effective Date.  Effective upon receipt.   
 
Background.  NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Vegetative Barrier (Code 601) is a conservation buffer practice consisting of permanent strips of stiff, narrow, dense vegetation planted in cropland to reduce sheet and rill erosion, decrease ephemeral gully erosion, manage water flow, stabilize steep slopes, and trap sediment. There is limited information available on vegetation that meets the technical specifications for the Vegetative Barrier standard.          
 

Explanation.  The Vegetative Barrier CPS relies on vegetation which meets the minimum vegetation stiffness index (VSI) value to address the resource concern. VSI is based on stem diameter and stem density. Plant Materials Centers (PMC) have evaluated over 50 named cultivars and pre-varietal germplasm of perennial grasses. Five of these grasses have been found to meet the minimum VSI for concentrated flow areas. Eleven grasses meet the minimum VSI to improve the efficacy of other practices such as filter strips, field borders, riparian forest buffers, and contour buffer strips. When using the Vegetative Barrier practice States should use the information in this technical note, or other applicable documents, to identify vegetation that meets the required VSI and is adapted to the planting site.

PMCs are continuing to evaluate additional grasses to expand the list of appropriate vegetation for the Vegetative Barrier standard. This technical note will be updated when new information is available.

Distribution. This directive is available on the NRCS Electronic Directives System website at http://directives.sc.egov.usda.gov/.

Filing Instructions. The availability of this information is limited to electronic format. States are recommended to file this document or provide a link to it in their State Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). If a paper copy is retained, file it sequentially within Title 190, Ecological Sciences, of the Technical Note binder.

 

  

 
Contact.  For further information, please contact the National Program Leader-Plant Materials, Ecological Sciences Division, by telephone at (202) 720-0536, or by email to john.englert@usda.gov.     
 
 

 /s/

 KRISTINA M. JEROME    
 Deputy Chief for Science & Technology (ACTING)   

 
 
 Attachment     
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