Plant Materials Center Update

Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for May 4, 2023:


As of 4/30/23 PMC Plant Sales stood at $1,721,630. That is 122% of the annual sales revenue budget of $1,411,300. Sales are almost $145,000 ahead of where they were on April 30 of last year when they were $1,576776. Total sales for this year are composed of 458 orders which is less than the same time last year when there were 559 orders. That means that the value of the average order has increased which is good, and that there were fewer orders to enter, track and build which is also good. 76 of those orders were to Washington Conservation Districts with a value of $443,642 or 26% of the total. There were 1,840,218 plants sold out of 1,868,280 harvested, or 98.5% of the plants harvested were sold. That represents the fewest number of leftover plants ever.

Sales probably will not increase much more. The cooler will remain on for another week waiting for the last of the plants to ship out but it is no longer a good time to plant bare root and there are only a few sales inquiries mainly for species that are sold out.

April Financial Reports

Lori has completed the financial reports for April. Most of the trends from previous financial reports have continued. That includes increases in revenue and expenses. As of April 30, 2023 total revenues for the PMC were $1,790,820 compared to $1,582,008 for the same time last year. That is a 13% increase year to date. As always PMC Plant Sales make up most of the PMC’s revenue which was at $1,590,201 on April 30 compared to $1,403,904 at the same time last year.

Total Expenses are up as well. As of April 30, expenses were $1,346,254 compared to $1,090,226 for the same time last year. There are a few expense items this year that were not on last year’s April financial report yet resulting in a significant increase to this year’s report. That includes $61,905 in income tax payments to the IRS and $42,792 for transplants that were not yet paid for this time last year. Other increases in expenses this year include brokered stock which has an offsetting increase in revenue, seeds which have gone up in price and increased in volume, and Staff Wages due to cost-of-living increases and the extended overlap of the Farm Operations Supervisor position as Bill oriented Oscar before retiring (see below). One bright spot was a decrease for Seasonal Labor in April due to finishing transplanting earlier than usual and a quick first round of weeding. $3,864 was spent on seasonal labor this April compared to $36,072 last April. That brought that cost for the fiscal year to date more in line with last year’s cost to date which was $284,429 this year and $287,214 last year, despite an 8% wage increase for seasonal labor.

The bottom line is that the PMC received $1,790,802 in revenue and spent $1,346,254 in expenses for net revenue of $518,499 as of April 30. Net revenue for the same time last year was $369,768. It is important to note that there are still 2 months of expenses left in the fiscal year which will reduce profitability. Overall, it has been a pretty good year.

Spring Seed Planting Begins

The PMC typically plans to begin spring seed planting in mid-May when soil temperatures warm up. Invariably a few seed lots begin to germinate in stratification sooner than expected and need to be planted earlier. So far Blue Elderberry, Baldhip Rose, Pacific Crabapple, and Beaked Filbert have been planted. Most of the seed in stratification are still on schedule for mid-May planting.

Chicken Manure Spreading Begins

One very important piece of the PMC’s success is its fallow rotation program. After a field is harvested, chicken manure is spread followed by planting a cover crop. The cover crop takes up the plant-available nutrients provided by the chicken litter and slowly releases them the following year when the field is replanted. The PMC has no need for commercial fertilizers as a result. This program has resulted in reducing a 2-year growing cycle down to 1 year for several species which is a tremendous savings.

Bill Mulder Retires

Bill Retirement 4.29.2023
Bill Retirement 4.29.2023

Previous updates have mentioned the Farm Operations Supervisor transition. Bill’s official last day was April 30. Oscar Arias is the one and only Farm Operations Supervisor here now and is catching on very well. PMC staff held a retirement dinner for Bill to honor his good work over the last 17 years. He was presented with a plaque and 17 gag gifts, one for each year with the PMC. A good time was had by all and Bill will be missed. Not only was he a very talented farmer and mechanic, but he was a very decent person liked by all. He was integral to the PMC’s growth. Fortunately, the same can be said of Oscar and we feel fortunate to have found such a well-qualified replacement who will hopefully be contributing to further success for years to come.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions. You can find older posts about the Plant Materials Center at

Jim Brown
Director of Nursery Operations