South Texas Natives' development process for native plant releases can be broken down into three stages: 1) species collection and selection, 2) evaluation and seed increase, and 3) transfer of technology and implementation. Please see the Project Methods Links for a detailed description of each stage.
This process is a combination of methods used by the USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program, with input and recommendations from agronomists, commercial seed growers, and native plant experts from south Texas.
The main goal of this development process is to quickly and effectively evaluate and provide native plant species to meet restoration demands in south Texas. Through this process we strive to maintain the genetic integrity of south Texas plant material, which we believe will result in ecologically friendly and economically functional plant releases.
It is important to develop multiple plant species mixtures of both perennial and annual forbs and grasses for land managers to have better success with their reseeding projects. Developing native plants for commercial production takes multi-year evaluation before selection and release can be pursued, and later seed must be increased 2-3 years by planting isolated fields to meet the demand of commercial growers.
We will continue to work toward the long term goal of providing multiple species seed mixes, by continuing to add species to the evaluation process. We will also continue to monitor and collect data on a series of experimental plantings in South Texas. Results from these plantings are crucial to formulating successful strategies for native habitat restoration in the region.