Farming for Restoration:
Building Bridges for Native Seeds



Berta Youtie, Eastern Oregon Stewardship Services, Prineville, OR, USA
Sabine Tischew, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Bernberg, Germany


In the United States as well as in Europe a shortage of native plant material considerably restricts success in restoring ecosystems. Commercial seed mixtures containing foreign ecotypes and genetically uniform varieties are threatening local biodiversity. Therefore,
the development of strategies for the propagation of native seeds for ecological restoration is of great importance.

Challenges in developing native plant programs at local or regional scales include: 1) identification of species suitable for agricultural seed production;
2) development of genetically diverse, ecologically adapted materials; 3) strategies for tracking the identity of plant materials from wildland harvest through agricultural production and managing stock seed; 4) seed technology for diverse grass, forb and shurb species; 5) breeding systems; 6) pollinator requirements and the potential for managing wild pollinators in seed fields; 7) cultural practices for maximizing seed production; 8) insect pest and disease control.

Major obstacles include sustaining funding for research and development, creating new market niches for seed growers, and creating and maintaining the bridges among researchers, seed regulatory agencies, the private seed industry, and land managers and other end users.

In the western U.S. livestock grazing, annual weed invasions, and increased wildfire frequency have negatively impacted extensive semi-arid grassland and shrubland landscapes. A shortage of native plant materials needed to restore land health for multiple resource values increased revegetation costs and precluded their use in many areas. In response, the U.S. Congress launched the Interagency Native Plant Materials Development Program landscape scale restoration. Native seed programs established earlier in the last decade are now serving as models for newer programs, though issues, goals and collaborators vary across the country.

In Europe, the production of native plant material is often limited due to high costs, lack of experience in propagating native plants and lack of administrative support in restricting the use of non-native plant material. However, in recent years the European Union has supported several projects designed to improve our knowledge of native plant propagation and their successful use in ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems. Both European practitioners and scientists working in this field will present their results.

This session will provide an overview of success and challenges encountered while producing and using native plant material. We want to initiate the exchange of ideas and experiences between practitioners and scientists in the U.S. and in Europe.



National Native Plant Materials
Development Program: Ensuring Options
in a Changing Climate
Building Bridges between NGO’s, Researchers and Farmers to Develop a Collaborative Native Seed Program
  Peggy Olwell's presentation   Shaw and Youtie presentation  
Peggy Olwell
USDI, Bureau of Land Management,
Washington, DC, USA
[abstract] [presentation]
Nancy Shaw1 and Berta Youtie2
1USDA, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station,
Boise, Idaho, USA
2Eastern Oregon Stewardship Services, Prineville, Oregon, USA
[abstract] [presentation]
Seed Certification Tracks the Natives from
Wildlands to Restoration
The Complex Business of
Farming Native Seeed
  Young presentation   Benson presentation  
Stanford Young
Utah Crop Improvement Association,
Logan, Utah, USA
[abstract] [presentation]
Jerry Benson
BFI Native Seeds Inc.,
Moses Lake, Washington, USA
[abstract] [presentation]
The EU-SALVERE Project: Producing Native
Seeds Using Threshing Material and
Species-rich Hay from Grassland, Germany
Farming Native Seeds for Site Specific Mixtures and the Importance of Quality Standards in the Wildseed Market in Europe
  Kirmer and Tischew presentation   Feucht presentation  
Anita Kirmer and Sabine Tischew
Anhalt University of Applied Sciences,
Bernburg, Germany

[abstract] [presentation]
Birgit Feucht
Rieger-Hofmann GMBH,
Blaufelden, Germany

[abstract] [presentation]
Seed Multiplication: Making the Most
of Natural Assets
From Buds to Seeds:
Bees are Key
  Scott presentation   Cane presentation  
Richard Scott
Landlife/National Wildflower Centre,
Liverpool, United Kingdom
[abstract] [presentation]
James Cane
USDA Agricultural Research Service,
Logan, Utah, USA
[abstract] [presentation]
“Native Seed Production” Seed Production
of Native Grasses and Herbs in Austria
  Krautzer and Blaschka presentation      
Bernhard Krautzer and Albin Blaschka
AREC Raumberg-Gumpenstein,

[abstract] [presentation]