Location: Forage and Range ResearchTitle: Native seed produced under cultivation in the north-western United States
Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2017
Publication Date: 8/31/2017
Citation: Jones, T.A. 2017. Native seed produced under cultivation in the north-western United States. Symposium Proceedings. 1-2.
Technical Abstract: Ecological restoration in the semi-arid temperate Intermountain Region in the north-western United States is serviced by what is probably the most extensive and diverse native seed industry in the world. Seeds of multiple plant materials of numerous grass and, increasingly, forb species are produced in cultivated settings by a variety of growers and companies. Seed may be produced either under irrigation or in a dryland farming system. Grass and forb seed production is regarded as a specialised enterprise that requires a high level of skill on the part of the seed grower, both as an agronomist and as a business person. It also involves elements of risk and reward, with most of the seed being produced under speculation to service broadscale restoration. The ability of the seed industry to deliver large quantities of desired seeds can be complicated by unrealistic expectations on the part of customers. A nuanced understanding of natural selection and trade-offs associated with delivery of native plant materials and the biodiversity they provide may place expectations for native seeds on a more rational footing. Poor communication between customers may impede restoration success, particularly under conditions of centralised restoration planning.