Plant Materials Center update: April 14, 2022

Post Harvest Field Cleanup 20220414
Post Harvest Field Cleanup 20220414

Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for April 14, 2022:

Harvest Complete

This is the first update since March 24. The reason for the hiatus was the push to finish harvest. It was a labor-shortage-induced, all-hands-on-deck time. Thankfully that is in the rearview mirror. The last plants went down the line last week.

In the preceding 4 ½ months over 2.15 million other plants went down the line, setting records for volume and length of duration. Harvest took two weeks longer than anticipated due to weather and labor shortages. There was an unprecedented three-week delay due to frozen ground which created problems when some of the seasonal employees left to go back to their primary jobs in March. That occurs every year but due to the weather delay, there was still a lot of stock yet to harvest. The pace dropped accordingly but fortunately, the weather remained cold enough to keep those plants sufficiently dormant. With that finished, the crew turned its attention to field cleanup and there are enough employees to do that.


As of March 30, the PMC had booked $1,507,075 in sales. That is a 36% increase from the same time last year when sales were at $1,103,802. The PMC will continue to sell plants for approximately three more weeks so that number should increase some but at a slower pace. The season will be one for the record books and it is important to note that PMC staff and employees went the extra mile to make it happen.


The March financial reports are finished. As one would expect with record-setting sales the total operating revenues are also up. As of March 31, total revenues at the PMC were $1,146,643 for the fiscal year to date which is a 37% increase over the same time last year when revenues were $936,525. The biggest part of that number is Plant Sales which were at $1,146,643.

If one would expect expenses to also increase during a banner year, they would be correct. As of March 31, expenses for the fiscal year to date were $981,217, which is a 7.6% increase from the same time last year. Some of the increase was due to increase seasonal wages, bank/credit card charges, and the PMC remitting the $75,000 Executive Operations payment earlier than usual. Most expenses are within budget and at normal levels for this time of year.


It has been a busy shipping week this week with several large truckloads going out. That will begin to slow down and the cooler will become emptier.


As mentioned above the crew is currently working on field cleanup. That involves cutting back any remaining live stakes and cleaning up those blocks, as well as lifting any remaining stock. That should be completed next week and then it is on to transplanting plugs for next season’s plug-1 seedlings. If harvest was completed on time that would be happening now. It looks like we will be two weeks behind last year but with the unseasonably mild temperatures, those extra two weeks would not have amounted to much of a gain in growth.

Transplanting takes about two weeks, after which it will be time for spring seed planting. In preparation for that, the seeds are stratified which is a process of placing the seeds in a cold, moist environment for a period of 30, 60, or 90 days. That is necessary to break seed dormancy, without which the seeds would not germinate. The latest seeds to go into stratification are Grand Fir, Doug Fir, and Sitka Spruce, all of which require 30 days of cold, moist stratification.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Jim Brown
Director of Nursery Operations