Tallgrass Prairie Center


Serving the Native Seed Supply Chain


[The title "The Native Seed Scoop" on a background of diverse native seeds]

Sign up for the Native Seed Scoop - a newsletter from the Plant Materials Program that keeps you informed on relevant native seed news throughout Iowa and the Midwest. New issues will arrive in your inbox four times a year.

Click here to access past issues of the newsletter.

Native Seed Email Group

This is a listserv for anyone involved with or interested in the native seed supply in Iowa and our broader region. Members will be able to send messages and pose questions to the group.

If you are interested in joining, send an email to laura.walter@uni.edu


2023 Native Seed Stakeholder Meeting

Title Native Seed Stakeholder Meeting, March 8, 2023, 8:30-4:30, UNI, with logos of sponsors LRTF, UNI, TPC on background photo of Illinois tick trefoil seedlings in greenhouse trays

More information and registration coming soon.

2022 Native Seed Stakeholder Meeting

We gathered at UNI on March 11, 2022 for several prepared presentations followed by discussion and networking. To view videos of the talks, click the titles in the list below:

Update on TPC Plant Materials Activities — Laura Walter, Plant Materials, TPC

Native Seed Marketing Strategies and Potential for Collaboration – Nicolas Lirio, Hoksey Native Seed

Native Seed for County Roadside Programs – Kristine Nemec, Iowa Roadside Management, TPC

National Study of Seed Testing Lab Uniformity – Johnny Zook, Seed Program Supervisor, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

How Season of Planting Influences Establishment Success in Popular CRP Plantings – Justin Meissen, Research and Restoration, TPC

Current Directions at the Iowa DOT – Seana Godbold, Iowa DOT

CRP Updates and Conservation Cover Practice Standard Review – Nicky Williams, Resource Conservationist, NRCS


Summary Report on Native Seed: A Landowner's Perspective (coming soon!)


2021 Native Seed Stakeholder Panel Discussions

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we held two virtual panel discussions of topics suggested by past meeting participants. 

Native Seed: A Landowner's Perspective - July 16, 2021

The state of Iowa is roughly 97% privately owned. Landowners implementing conservation practices, like native prairie habitat, are a major driver of the market for native seed in Iowa.  Landowners and conservation planners joined us to discuss their experiences in planning and planting for conservation. The summary report includes a list of funding sources and partner organizations used by our panelists, advice for successful native seedings on working lands, and some ways the process could better meet landowners' needs.


Summary Report on Native Seed: A Landowner's Perspective

Native Seed Producers Panel - April 16, 2021

Several Midwestern native seed producers met online to discuss current issues, challenges, and practices in seed production. The summary report includes areas for future research and action items for a potential working group of regional native seed producers. For a link to the recording of the Native Seed Producers Panel, please send an email to laura.walter@uni.edu

Summary Report on Native Seed Producers Panel

2020 Native Seed Stakeholder Meeting 

Twenty-seven native seed stakeholders from Iowa and other Midwestern states met with TPC staff, AmeriCorps members, and UNI students on March 4, 2020 to celebrate 30 years of the Iowa Ecotype Project and discuss challenges and opportunities for the regional native seed market going forward.

Panelists included representatives from Allendan Seed Company, Iowa DOT, Iowa NRCS, and Xerces Society.

In order to support a diverse and sustainable native seed market going forward, participants identified needs in the following areas:

  • Research into native seed testing and production and establishment and management of plantings
  • Communication among stakeholders
  • Education of staff and clients, targeted marketing, and outreach to the public
  • Intersections of policy, practice, and research

Click the buttons below for a video of the morning sessions and a report summarizing the full meeting (including synthesis of outcomes).


Video: Native Seed Stakeholder Panel Discussion


Report: 2020 Native Seed Stakeholder Meeting




2019 Meeting Summary


Response to the extreme spike in demand for native forb seed following the roll-out of the pollinator mix (CP-42) for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) plantings.

  • 2015-2017, over 230,000 acres of pollinator CRP were planted in Iowa alone
  • high demand for forb seed resulted in price increases and ripple effects through the native seed supply chain

Nearly 50 participants from 4 states representing a range of perspectives on native seed - seed producers, consumers, conservation professionals, researchers, and regulators

Key takeaways:

  • a draft model of the native seed supply chain to increase understanding of how its parts interact
  • a set of suggestions for improving the seed plan development process (direct communication between suppliers and field offices, improved efficiency)
  • ideas for increasing communication among seed producers so that they can share best practices and learn about policy changes
  • questions about seed mix design and planting practices that could be addressed through research
  • clarification of the issues around seed quality assurance
  • other research questions – seed testing variability, methods for improving production plot longevity/productivity, market research for source-identified seed


 Report on 2019 Native Seed Stakeholders Meeting



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