Organic Seed Production: Materials, Training, and a Seed Database.

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2006: $98,755.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Brian Baker
Organic Materials Review Institute

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, canola, corn, cotton, flax, millet, oats, peanuts, potatoes, rapeseed, rice, rye, safflower, spelt, soybeans, sugarbeets, sugarcane, sunflower, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: melons, berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, artichokes, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), lentils, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, rutabagas, turnips, brussel sprouts
  • Additional Plants: tobacco, herbs, native plants, ornamentals


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Crop Production: cover crops, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: extension, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, risk management
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Pest Management: cultural control, disease vectors, prevention
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities


    Production of high quality organic seed has been identified as a major need for organic farmers in the Western US and worldwide. This project helped agricultural professionals who serve: 1) organic growers interested in seed production, and 2) conventional seed growers interested in organic methods. The partners conducted a short course with two tracks to reach the identified audiences. Information was published for the course that appears on-line, available to agricultural professionals. A database of organic seed sources was upgraded to be more up to date and accessible and the site’s traffic has increased.

    Project objectives:

    The objectives of this project were:

    1) In the short-term: to increase knowledge of university extension and research faculty, other agricultural professionals, and conventional and organic seed farmers about organic seed production strategies, the market for organic seed, and the availability of materials and trainings on this subject,

    2) In the medium term: to develop a higher level of skill in providing information on organic production and specialty seed production by university extension faculty and specialty seed professionals, and

    3) In the long-tem: to build a strong, collaborative, western region technical support system for the organic vegetable seed industry, and a thriving organic seed industry.

    The performance targets of the project were:

    1) Prepare an Organic Seed Resource Guide.

    2) Revise, update and expand the Guidebook on Organic Principles and Practices with information specifically targeted for professionals that work with organic seed producers.

    3) Conduct a short course on organic seed production that has two tracks for the different target audiences identified.

    4) Upgrade and improve the Organic Seed Database.

    The project was completed on schedule, and achieved all objectives and performance targets.

    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.