Home Publications National Nursery Proceedings 1997 You Want Us to Do What!? Diversifying Plant Products at the J. Herbert

You Want Us to Do What!? Diversifying Plant Products at the J. Herbert

It seems like only yesterday when a few of us were talking in the hallways after a coffee break about what we might do with our nursery fields when the demand for seedlings fell off. One suggested, "why don't we plant native grasses?" It was as wild an idea as suggesting that a cattle rancher try growing chickens. This was 1990 and we had been riding high on what seemed like a tidal wave of seedling orders for reforesting areas created by the fires and increased logging of the late 1980's. Looking back at this period, it seems that we, in a Forest Service nursery, were in the center of the cyclone as the rest of the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management were swirling in forest politics. One thing seemed certain, when the storm settled there would be less demand for bareroot seedlings for reforestation. Less demand for seedlings meant more fields fallow, which would lead to higher seedling costs and ultimately less demands for seedlings. This negative cycle was something we wanted to avoid. Keeping our fields in crops, whether it be conifers or some other plant material, was one way to keep it from happening. This paper describes how we accomplished the transition to diversification of our plant products and at the same time, met the changing plant material needs of many of our federal land managing customers.


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Author(s): David E. Steinfeld

Publication: National Nursery Proceedings - 1997

Event: Western Forest and Conservation Nursery Association
1997 - Boise, ID

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