Improving seed quality of Northeast-grown seed: Focus on disease
We trained 12 farmers from 8 different small farms through monthly workshops in how to integrate seed production into their diversified vegetable operations. Alongside this training, we studied the diseases affecting the plants (if any) at all stages in order to determine if there was a difference in seed quality between our farm (A dedicated seed farm) and seed crops grown on diversified produce farms.
We have completed all parts of our grant except publishing and sharing the handbook. The handbook will be ready in time for the NOFA-NY conference and we will share results there.
The results are very promising indicating that when growers follow the protocols and practices that we taught in our monthly workshops, high-quality seed can be produced even in less than desirable seed growing climates like the Northeast.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
We have shared some of this research at other conferences and feel that it is helping to inspire farmers to be more confident in producing on-farm seed crops. Interest in on-farm seed production has risen dramatically. The timing for the handbook and results will be very helpful for all of this new interest in seeds. The knowledge we gained and are sharing with the farming community is helping to shape the next steps for creating a viable network of seed producers on our region.
Organic Production Educator
Cornell Cooperative Extension Hudson Valley
3357 Route 9W
Highland, NY 12528
Office Phone: 8459439810