Breeding

Breeding day-neutral strawberry cultivars for organic production in the Pacific Northwest

This award continues OFRF support for a breeding effort to develop strawberry varieties that produce fruit over a 4-5 month period in the Pacific Northwest. In contrast, June-bearing strawberries only produce fruit for about one month.

Midwest Breeding Project Aims for Cold-Tolerant Sweet Corn

Summary

Investigator: William F. Tracy, Dept. of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin,
Madison, WI
Project locations: Wisconsin, Minnesota

Participatory plant breeding to improve sweet corn for organic farmers

In the upper Midwest, fresh market sweet corn is an important part of many diversified organic vegetable operations. Many organic farmers consider sweet corn crucial for attracting customers to their market stands or to their CSAs.

Seed Increase Trials Lead to Release of Promising New Disease- Resistant Varieties

Summary

Investigator: Michael Mazourek, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Project location: Cornell University’s 30 acre certified organic Freeville Organic Research Farm, located 10 miles north of Cornell’s Ithaca, New York main campus.

Four organic breeding guides: An Introduction to Organic Breeding; and Organic Breeding for Sweet Corn, Carrots, and Tomatoes

Summary

Coordinator: Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, WA
Project locations: Washington, Wisconsin, Oregon, Minnesota

Farmer-based evolutionary participatory plant breeding for organic quinoa, buckwheat, and spelt

The purpose of this project was to identify varieties of quinoa, buckwheat and spelt optimally adapted to organic farming systems in Washington State. Quinoa varieties have been identified that perform well in both Eastern and Western Washington. The multi-location quinoa variety trials have led to the establishment of a robust organic quinoa breeding and agronomy program, with multiple students incorporating genetic, agroecological and social aspects into their research.

Creating two open pollinated, sugary enhanced sweet corn varieties

Investigator: Jonathan Spero, Lupine Knoll Farm, Williams, Oregon

Project location: Oregon

Maintaining our own seed allows the farmer to adapt seeds to his or her location and growing methods. Seed saving requires open pollinated varieties. Development work in the last 50 or more years has been almost entirely based on hybrids. While hybrids have advantages in creation of corn that is both uniform and productive, we can create open pollinated varieties that are better than any op’s now available.

Organic Participatory Plant Breeding Toolkit: Tools and training in participatory breeding projects for researchers and organic farmers

Summary

Coordinator: Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, Washington
Stakeholders: Any farmer or agricultural researcher interested in participatory plant breeding as a tool for developing organic seed varieties.

Developing “Organic-Ready” Maize Populations

Summary

Investigator: Frank Kutka, Seed We Need, Dickinson, North Dakota
Project location: North Dakota

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