Purchasing Seed on a PLS Pound vs. a Bulk Pound

PLS vs Bulk


Have you ever called or visited a website of a seed dealer and kept seeing these three little letters, PLS? Have you ever wondered what’s so important about PLS? Well let me explain.

Pure live seed (PLS) % is important when defining an amount of an individual species to plant in order to achieve a desired or adequate stand. PLS % is a way of expressing the quality of the seed. PLS % is the amount of “live or viable” seed that you are considering. The PLS % of a seed species is determined by multiplying the purity by the germination percentage of a specific seed lot. When purchasing on a PLS pound basis it helps you to better compare lots of a specific species to another because you are guaranteed the same amount of viable seed even though different lots may be used. This is in comparison to a bulk pound. A bulk pound of seed is one that contains viable seed, inert matter, other crop seed, and weed seed. When purchasing on a bulk pound basis you are no longer guaranteed the same amount of viable seed. Purchasing on a PLS pound basis allows you to compare apples to apples and ensures the viability of your seed purchased.

It is important that when you are getting ready to purchase seed you understand not only the bulk contents but also the PLS % of the seed. This is to help the consumer know which portion of the seed is viable and will germinate and how much is inert material and/or “dead” seed. In layman’s terms when you purchase seed on a PLS pound basis you are buying the viable seed; but when you purchase on a bulk pound basis you are buying viable seed, inert material, and/or potentially dead seed. Let’s take a look at an example of a PLS versus Bulk purchase.



You want to purchase 30 pounds of Blue Grama, but you are unsure if you should purchase on a bulk pound or a PLS pound. You know that the price of Blue Grama on a bulk pound costs $23 per pound; and Blue Grama on a PLS pound costs $27 per pound. You know that the specific lot has a PLS of 59%.

Bulk Cost:

To find the cost of the seed on a bulk pound you multiple the cost by pounds, in this instance:

$23 x 30 bulk pounds = $690 total cost

You know that you will pay $690 of 30 bulk pounds of viable, inert material, and dead seed.

Next you want to know how many PLS pounds you would be receiving. Therefore you multiply the total bulk pounds by the PLS percent.

30 bulk pounds x 0.59 lot PLS = 17.7 total PLS pounds in your order.

PLS Cost:

To find the cost of the seed on a PLS pound basis you multiple the cost by PLS pounds, in this instance:

$27 x 30 PLS pounds = $810 total cost

You know that you will pay $810 of 30 pounds of viable seed.

Next you want to know how many bulk pounds you would be receiving. Therefore you divide the total PLS pounds by the PLS percent.

30 PLS pounds / 0.59 PLS% = 51 Bulk pounds

So even though the cost of buying on a PLS may seem higher you are receiving 30 PLS pounds of seed that are guaranteed to be viable and germinate. While if you purchase on a bulk pound you are only receiving 17.7 PLS pounds of seed that would be viable and germinate. Purchasing seed on a PLS pound basis is especially important when comparing lots with differing PLS%.


So when it comes to purchasing on a PLS versus a Bulk pound, don’t be scared or hesitant of the cost because when you buy on a PLS basis you are guaranteed viable seed.


by Gretchen Adams, M.S.

Plant Material Centers

The history of the reclamation/native seed industry is one deeply rooted in necessity and has grown into an industry that today provides specialty seed for numerous industries. These industries include: erosion control projects, fire reclamation projects, oil and gas reclamation, wildlife habitat, landscaping, highway right-of-ways, transmission line right-of-ways, ranching, solar farm sod, and numerous government programs.


For 80+ years the reclamation/native seed industry has had USDA to thank for creating government funded Plant Material Centers [PMC] to evaluate, collect, propagate, and make available native seeds to commercial markets. PMCs are responsible for finding the plants that are well suited for specified eco-regions and begin propagating the seeds of those species into quantities that are economically feasible for the consumer. PMC plant releases are tried and true; therefore, when you need species for your area look to PMC releases for the best results.


USDA’s history of Planter Material Centers: The 1930s Dust Bowl taught us that plants play a critical role in the health of our environment. At that time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) created a number of Soil Conservation Nurseries throughout the country to grow and distribute plants for the stabilization of severely eroding lands. Since the mid-1930s, this need for conservation plants has grown into the present day Plant Materials Program.


The Program was created in 1935 as the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) Division of Nurseries. It later became the SCS Plant Materials Program and is known today as the NRCS Plant Materials Program.


The Program conducts its plant evaluation activities under the guiding philosophy of Dr. Franklin J. Crider, first head of the Plant Materials Section: “In most cases nature has evolved a plant for almost every growing condition.” These plants and the associated plant technologies are invaluable resources in the implementation of USDA conservation programs.


In 1934, the first Plant Materials Center was established in Tucson, Arizona, under the direction of F. J. Crider. The Tucson Plant Materials Center was built by the Bureau of Plant Industry, a Bureau within the US Department of Agriculture. Numerous Plant Materials Centers, originally called erosion nurseries, or erosion experiment stations were built by the Bureau across the nation in response to the devastation of the “Dust Bowl” era in the early 1930′s. At this same time another agency called the Soil Erosion Service, a temporary agency created in 1933 within the Department of the Interior, was also establishing nurseries to produce plants and seed for conservation demonstration projects.


The Soil Erosion Service was transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1935 and on April 27, 1935 Congress passed the Soil Conservation Act, creating the Soil Conservation Service (SCS). In 1935, USDA consolidated the Soil Erosion Service and the erosion nurseries and erosion experiment stations of the Bureau of Plant Industry into the new Soil Conservation Service.


The Tucson Plant Materials Center served as the headquarters for the Southwest which included facilities at Safford, Arizona and Shiprock, New Mexico. The Center was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.


Retrieved from http://www.nrcs.usda.gov 4/3/14

Retrieved from http://www.nrcs.usda.gov 4/3/14

Rhett Kerby

by Rhett Kerby, M.S.

Sales Position Opening



Our Goal:

Bamert Seed Company is a family owned company in search of a Sales Professional. The ideal candidate will have an enthusiastic personality and become a key team member in a company that provides a working environment that promotes and enhances family life and living.
Bamert Seed Company, Inc. is located in Muleshoe, Texas and began producing native seed in 1951. We specialize in native warm season grass seed, forbs, and legumes. We are a major supplier for the conservation, reclamation, restoration, and biofuel industries throughout the United States and internationally. Our mission at Bamert Seed Company is to supply the highest quality native seed while providing friendly, experienced guidance to ensure customer success. The selected candidate must be self-motivated and able to accomplish desired goals and objectives for the team. Experience in the conservation, restoration, or seed industry is desired but not required.


Preferred degree in agriculture or a related field
Experience in an agriculture or communications related field
Proficiency with Microsoft Office software, including: Excel, Word, Access, etc.
Excellent written and oral communication skills


Provide sales to numerous native seed markets
Procurement of seed and production inputs
Assist with quality assurance and data gathering
Willingness to travel


Commensurate with experience, the benefits package includes retirement, health insurance, personal time and vacation.

To Apply:

Applications will be available at the following link: Job Application – Sales. Please email application along with a cover letter and résumé to Sales@BamertSeed.com or fax it to 888-378-0419.

Contact Information:

If you are interested in this position or have questions, please contact Rhett Kerby at Sales@BamertSeed.com or (800) 262-9892. If you would like this in a printable format click the following link. If you would like a printable format click the following link. Sales Position

by Gretchen Adams, M.S.

National Agriculture Day

Did you know that agriculture is more than just raising animals and crops? Agriculture is found in everyday items from beauty to opportunities. Agriculture plays a part in everyones lives, from city dwellers to the country folk. In Texas alone agriculture contributes to more than $100 billion to the economy each year. And that is not just farming and ranching but 1.8 million jobs ranging from journalism and advertising to commodity training. We as agriculturalist are involed in not only providing food, clothing, and shelter to the world. We are involved in environmental enchancements, education, and prosperity for the country and the world.

Check out the link below to learn more about Texas Agriculture.


And don’t forget to thank an Agriculturalist!


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by Gretchen Adams, M.S.