Quality seed is needed for land restoration, rehabilitation, reclamation and conservation. ASTA promotes incorporating local and non-local native seeds with introduced and released plant materials in projects on private and public lands. Click on the links below to learn more about the benefits of using professionally produced seed and information about seed suppliers.
- Pollinator/ Environmental & Conservation Seed
- Cover Crop
- Conservation Programs
- Seed Procurement Policies at the Bureau of Land Management
Pollinator/ Environmental & Conservation Seed
Environmental and conservation seed helps to restore lands devastated by wildfires, natural disasters, and invasive weeds. It serves as the foundation of healthy landscapes, contributing to stable ecosystems, erosion control and biodiversity.
Lately, there has been increased interest in planting native seed mixes to provide important habitat and forage resources for wildlife and pollinators.
Cover crops lead to healthier soil which means increased fertility, sustainability and productivity on your land. Better cover crop seed helps farmers achieve their conservation goals, leading to a more secure and sustainable food supply and a healthier environment.
The land and our environment play critical roles in the success of America’s farmers, who depend on nature for their livelihood and realize it must be protected. ASTA advocates for investments in flexible and efficient conservation programs that provide producers the financial and technical assistance needed to conserve our nation’s most precious resource. Working lands conservation is an important element for sustainable growth of agriculture. Significant use of cover crops in production agriculture is also one of the most promising practices to address both the stewardship of our soils and nutrient reduction in our environment.
ASTA supports continued investment in effective conservation programs through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Programs
Seed Procurement Policies at the Bureau of Land Management
ASTA members specialize in supplying native seeds to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in post fire reclamation projects. However, we recommend BLM procurement policies to ensure that the government’s rehabilitation objectives can be cost-effectively met. Changes could include: more proactive planning and purchasing of seed by BLM; and allowing known introduced species to be used in fire reclamation projects.
ASTA supports the following report language from fiscal year 2014 and 2015 appropriations bills in future legislation:
“The Committee is concerned that the Bureau’s policy of using highly localized genetic varieties of native seeds may be unnecessarily limiting, driving up procurement costs, and causing delays in re-seeding areas burned by fire. The Bureau is directed to publish its yearly estimated seed needs by variety, to be more transparent with the science supporting its policy, and to more clearly explain the policy in the fiscal year 2016 budget request.”
ASTA Position Statement on Use of Local Native Seed
Lawn Seed Handling Guide for Retailers
Written Testimony on Efficient Native Seed Use
National Seed Strategy
USDA Plant Materials Centers