Penstemon Seed Production and Stand Establishment

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2004: $2,100.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: Nevada
Principal Investigator:


  • Agronomic: general grain crops


  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, agricultural finance, market study, value added
  • Pest Management: field monitoring/scouting, cultivation
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Sustainable Communities: infrastructure analysis, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    To help replenish the shortage of native seed for revegetation projects and provide farmers with a water-thrifty alternative crop, this project will test ways to establish a native forb for seed production. Edith Isidoro-Mills will compare direct seeding of Penstemon speciosus with use of transplants started in a greenhouse to see which method works better for establishing a stand and producing seed. The idea for using transplants was gleaned from California strawberry producers. Though costly, this labor-intensive method may prove effective for penstemon seed, which typically retails for between $36 and $260 a pound, depending on species, compared with alfalfa seed, for example, which retails for between $2.30 and $3.50 a pound. Isidoro-Mills plans to share what she learns with the newly established Nevada Wildland Seed Producers Association.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.