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California - Lockeford Plant Materials Center

Lockeford Plant Materials Center (CAPMC)
Serving the State of California

Established: 1939
Size: 106 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: NRCS

Image of a walnut grove with mixed  cover crop species planted between the rows of walnut trees.The Lockeford Plant Materials Center (CAPMC) was established in Pleasanton, California and relocated to Lockeford in 1973. The Center provides plant solutions for the diverse Californian landscape and serves the Mediterranean climate portions of California. This area is uniquely characterized by its six-month summer dry season and six-month winter rainy season.

The service area has a complex topography including the Coastal and Central Valleys, California Delta, rolling foot-hills, upland plateaus, and rugged mountains. Agriculture in the service area is extremely intensive and diversified, with annual and perennial specialty crops, including tree crops, rangeland with extensive livestock production, dairies, and timber production. We continue to develop plant technologies to promote conservation and to address resource concerns within our service area.

Our main focus is to develop plant technology for addressing resource concerns, which in California include; soil health, water-use efficiency for water quality and quantity, air quality, wildlife habitat and land restoration. The CAPMC has developed and maintains conservation plant releases, which include native and non-native releases with application for range and pasture enhancement, cover cropping systems and wildlife habitat.

Highlights

COVER CROPS and SOIL HEALTH:

Develop conservation technology through use of plant materials to enhance sustainability of California agriculture

  • Promote use of cover crops, for soil health, water and air quality through dissemination of information, demonstrations and collaboration with NRCS Field Offices, Resource Conservation Districts, University of California and California State University systems, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Federal Agencies including the Agricultural Research Service, non-profit organizations, seed producers and private landowners.
  • Conduct studies with cover crops and conservation cover to select appropriate plant materials and develop best management practices for soil health and increased soil organic matter with concurrent improvements to air and water quality.

WATER AND AIR QUALITY IN AGRICULTURE

Improve agricultural resilience with climate change

  • Develop drought tolerant cover crop mixtures and alternatives adapted to California cropping systems under increased climate stress.
  • Selection of plant materials for efficacy in improving water quality and quantity through increased infiltration and water holding capacity with NRCS practices for California cropping systems.
  • Study adaptation of windbreak and hedgerow species.

WILDLIFE RESOURCES AND POLLINATOR HABITAT

Enhance habitat for ecological function

  • Develop and promote technology for establishment and maintenance of habitat for pollinators; including native and European bees, Monarch butterflies, and beneficial insects, through use of cover crops, conservation cover and hedgerows in collaboration with non-profits including the Xerces Society and Project ApisM and the University of California.
  • Maintain native plants foundation seed stocks including CAPMC releases for use in rangelands, restoration and agricultural land retirement. 

INDIGENOUS STEWARDSHIP METHODS

Restore and improve ecological function

  • Work with Native American groups to demonstrate methods and techniques for local propagation and maintenance of native plants of cultural significance.
  • Support tribes and NRCS in cultural burns for management of the fire adapted California landscape.

Lockeford Plant Materials Center
PO Box 68, 21001 N. Elliott Rd.
Lockeford, CA 95237
Shipping address: 21001 North Elliott Rd.
Phone: (209) 727-5319
Fax: (844) 206-6967