PMC Update for June 20, 2024

Here are 5 things that you should know about the Plant Materials Center for June 20 ,2024.


Lori has completed the May financial reports. Like April, the month of May is a positive net revenue month. As of May 31, total revenue at the PMC was $1,737,744 which was a $74,802 decrease from last years’ revenue of $1,812,546. However, it was the second highest year to date revenue amount for the PMC.

Expenses increased from that same date last year. The income statement shows total expenses as of May 31 at $1,560,212. That number includes a $95,000 investment transfer from Edward Jones Long-term Investments to the Executive checking account. That needs to be shown as a PMC expense but it is not an operational expense for the PMC and was not on previous years’ income statements.

When that $95,000 is backed out of PMC expenses total operational expenses for the PMC as of May 31 are $1,465,212 which is only slightly higher than last years’ $1,422,525. With the $95,000 WACD Investment Transfer calculated into PMC expenses Net Income as of May 31 was $177,532. With the Investment transfer backed out Net Income is $272,532 which is down from the same time last year when net income was $390,021.

There is still another month of expenses left in this fiscal year and not much revenue. Hopefully the year will end in the black. Check back next month for the final tally.


The 2023-24 sales season has come to an end. Sales this year totaled $1,631,166 which is 96% of the budgeted sales amount of $1,696,000. Sales are down from last years all time high of $1,744,071 and are and are closer to the 10-year average of $1,515,000. This years’ sales were composed of 459 orders which is an average number of orders. 5% of sales were contract sales, 26% of sales were directly to CD’s and 69% of sales were to non-district customers.

The PMC is gearing up for the 2024-25 sales season. This time last year there were 81 preorders received. There currently are 65 preorders which is a bit concerning. Despite all the chatter about significant increases in restoration plantings there is scant solid evidence of that in terms of number of orders. More should be known this time next month when next years orders begin to be entered.

Spring Seed Planting

Spring seed planting has wrapped up. It was completed a few weeks later than normal due to rain delays in May. Almost 4 acres, or 4.5 miles of seedbed, were planted including all the species of conifers we grow and several of the hardwood, deciduous species such as Alder, Mock Orange, and Blue Elderberry to name a few. The seed drills have been cleaned up and put away until fall seed planting which is when the greatest volume of seed is planted.

PMC Open House

Invitations have been sent out for the Open House the PMC is hosting on August 13. Please let us know if you or any CD associates you know did not receive an invitation and are interested in attending. So far there are 47 signups with an additional 17 people expressing interest. This could be a popular event with perhaps close to 100 people participating. Plans are afoot for renting tables and chairs and setting up in the packing shed. It will start mid-morning with a classroom session followed by a field tour and lunch afterwards. This is a long overdue and welcome opportunity to help CD staff get a closer look at the PMC and learn what it can and cannot do.

Irrigation Pump Replacement

As reported previously the PMC has started replacing a worn-out irrigation pump. The old pump and pipe have been pulled out of the well, confirming that they are old and worn out. A replacement pump and pipe have been ordered.

The next step is to decide to invest additional money to make this pump a variable phase pump which would cost at least another $15,000. Having a variable phase pump would let the pump output to be reduced, allowing for smaller irrigation sets, saving water. [EDIT: Variable phase pumps are also called variable frequency drive pumps, of VFDs. Click here to learn more about VFD pumps.] The pumps currently run at full power, requiring a minimum number of irrigation lines to be ran to maintain the water pressure at a safe level.

We have just received news that should make that decision easier. Emmett Wild, the manager for Skagit Conservation District, submitted a proposal to the Conservation Commission for a grant to cover some of these costs under the drought emergency and they have informed him they will accept his proposal. It will cover 75% of covered costs. Exactly what will be covered has not been determined but this is an opportunity not only to bring the 3rd well back into production, but do it in a way that saves water and makes scheduling irrigation easier.

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

Jim Brown, Director of Nursery Operations