Promote and encourage development of an agriculture industry in Alaska.
- Develop seed and plant materials suitable for Alaska growers.
- Provide recommendations for erosion control, seed production, and revegetation throughout Alaska.
- Act as the repository for Alaska developed crops and varieties.
- Maintain the state's certified seed laboratory for commercial and regulatory seed quality testing.
- Maintain and produce an adequate number of varieties of seed potatoes for seed growers.
- Provide information and recommendations on invasive plant and agricultural pest management.
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|A: Result - Ensure that plant materials and industry services are available for Alaskan agricultural and environmental needs statewide.|
|A1: Core Service - Develop seed and plant materials suitable for Alaska growers.|
Target #1: Evaluate plant material collections from Alaska and Circumpolar North.
Plant Material Collections in Evaluation - PMC
Analysis of results and challenges: The Alaska Plant Material Center (PMC) documents field plantings and records planting sites, related data and selects new crops for industry through a systematic evaluation program and off-site demonstration plot network. This is one of the basic missions of the PMC in support of the Alaskan agricultural industry. The increase of accessions between FY2013 and FY2016 was from establishing and expanding evaluation fields of previously collected plant materials from other circumpolar regions such as Iceland, Nunavut, and the Farrow Islands. These evaluations will lead to the identification of plant materials with desired traits for future release to Alaska’s agricultural industry for further production and use as revegetation and erosion control around Alaska. The FY2018 reduction in year to date total is due to the strict evaluation process that culls out plant materials and/or varieties trialed that do not meet the desired traits required for future release and production by Alaska’s agricultural industry. This general practice while trialing assists industry by identifying the strongest plant materials for future production and use in revegetation around Alaska protecting the states soil and water resources.
|A2: Core Service - Provide recommendations for erosion control, seed production, and revegetation throughout Alaska.|
Target #1: Respond to 90% of requests for revegetation advice and specifications.
Annual Revegetation Advice
Analysis of results and challenges: The Alaska Plant Material Center (PMC) provides information to DOT/PF, various mining companies, engineering firms, state and federal agencies and the public regarding recommendations on revegetation, reclamation and erosion control methodology. These recommended specifications are based on the PMC evaluation plots and promote the use of seed and other agricultural products produced by Alaskan agricultural producers statewide. Increases over the past few years are due to the outreach, education and staff involvement with projects statewide.
|A3: Core Service - Act as the repository for Alaska developed crops and varieties.|
Target #1: Maintain off-site evaluation and demonstration plots.
Off-Site Agriculture Evaluation Plots in Alaska
Analysis of results and challenges: Off-site evaluation plots are critical aspects of product development and developing all usability specifications. They allow factual evaluations in multiple geographic and climatic regions throughout the State of Alaska. Increases in research/evaluation plot networks change yearly due to specific project goals, funding sources and consists of plots in conjunction with DOT/PF, mine sites, commercial seed growers, hay and horticultural crop producers.
|A4: Core Service - Maintain the state's certified seed laboratory for commercial and regulatory seed quality testing.|
Target #1: Meet 100% of requested seed testing services as provided by the Alaska State Seed Laboratory.
Seed Testing Services Requested and Provided by the Alaska State Seed Laboratory
Analysis of results and challenges: Alaska State Seed Laboratory at the Alaska Plant Materials Center is the only official seed testing lab in the state of Alaska. The lab offers a variety of tests including purity, germination, tetrazolium (viability), noxious weed seed, moisture content, seed count and pathological testing services. Alaska State Seed Lab is a vital link between seed growers, seed retailers and customers. The lab ensures that the seed marketed in the state meets the industry standard. Our customers range from state and federal agencies to local seed growers, environmental firms and hobby gardeners. During FY2017 and FY18, due to grants received for pathological testing on the state’s potato stocks, Alaska State Seed Lab conducted 4,758 tests. In previous years, those were sent out of state. This number includes 184 germination tests, 163 purity tests, 67 noxious weed tests, 9 seed count, 15 moisture content, 4 tetrazolium chloride tests and 4,316 pathological seed, plant and tuber tests.
|A5: Core Service - Maintain and produce an adequate number of varieties of seed potatoes for seed growers.|
Target #1: Meet 100% of requests for certified seed potatoes originating from commercial seed producers.
Requests for Certified Seed Potatoes
Analysis of results and challenges: Alaska's potato crop is free from many serious pests and diseases that are common in the continental United States. Imported potatoes may introduce problems such as late blight, root knot nematode, viruses and other destructive organisms. Certification is designed to identify and remove from use those seed lots which have become diseased or are otherwise of reduced value for use as seed. Planting Certified Seed will help assure successful yields and quality. In FY2018, 79 varietal requests for certified seed were made. Although the FY2018 varietal requests were lower in quantity, the requests equated to the largest total weight and volume of Generation Zero seed produced and sold to Alaska Certified seed growers since the program’s inception. The Alaska Plant Material Center meets 100% of the certified see potato requests from commercial seed producers.
Target #2: Maintain a minimum of 90 cultivars/varieties of disease tested seed potato mother plants and planting stock.
Maintain a Minimum of 90 Cultivars/Varieties of Seed Potatoes
Analysis of results and challenges: Alaska producers are always continuing to look for more suitable potato varieties for Alaska’s unique and changing growing environment. Since 2007, the Alaska Plant Materials Center (PMC) has screened over 675 varieties for adaption to high latitudes and Alaskan growing conditions. During FY2018, the PMC maintained 236 different varieties of potatoes. The decrease in cultivars/varieties maintained in FY2017 was a result the selection process in determining suitability for production in Alaska. Continued collaborations with potato breeders in the lower 48 states to introduce new varieties or genetics to Alaska for cooperative evaluation between PMC staff, the potato industry, and other partners. These new varieties and genetics are brought into tissue culture or planted at the PMC in the 2015 through the 2018 field seasons and will be evaluated as a part of a multi-year process to identify varieties that will be suitable and will benefit the Alaskan Industry.
|A6: Core Service - Provide information and recommendations on invasive plant and agricultural pest management.|
Target #1: Provide information for invasive plant and agricultural pest management and prevention statewide.
Annual Invasive Plant and Agricultural Pest Advice
Analysis of results and challenges: The Alaska Plant Materials Center provides information to land owners, land managers, and industry groups regarding the identification and management of invasive plants and agricultural pests. The information provided is based on current science and data for existing invasive issues in Alaska. These numbers represent requests for consultation or information including requests for informational materials, assistance in identification of specimens, guidance on management options, and site consultation. Over 500 educational flyers, brochures, and identification guides were distributed. The increase in requests represents an increase in outreach to producers through the horticulture program, as well as an increased contact with the public and impacted agencies through the Invasive Plant Program. FY 2018 requests are slightly lower than previous trend only due to having the only FTE invasive coordinator position vacant for three and a half months at the end of FY18, where contacts or requested were not truly tracked.
Current as of July 19, 2019