Seed Growers' Handbook: Producing Vegetable Seeds for Sustainable Agriculture

2005 Annual Report for LNE03-186

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2003: $62,925.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:

Seed Growers' Handbook: Producing Vegetable Seeds for Sustainable Agriculture


As I have submitted a letter to Northeast SARE for a one year extension for this project, extending the period of performance to Dec. 31, 2006, I will submit this document as an annual report and not as a final report.

Many of the project activities that I reported on last year, especially those surrounding my work in the Northwest, have continued and in fact expanded since last year. I will give updates and report on the progress of these activities in the context of performance targets of this project. The project activities in relationship with the other main body of activities with cooperators in the Northeast, Tom Stearns and Mark Hutton as extension outreach with seed growers, was only funded through 3/31/05. Thereby the field visits and documentation of seed farmers’ activity was not done as it had been in the last two years. However, thanks to my close working relationship with these two cooperators I have remained well informed of the activities and continued progress of these Northeastern farmers that we had worked with on this project since 2003.

The need for seed that is developed for the organic farmer’s needs and produced with the same integrity and high standards that most small-scale, diversified organic farmers hold for themselves is becoming more apparent throughout the organic community with each passing year. Certainly the demand for this seed is growing exponentially and the interest of organic farmers who would like to incorporate seed production into their current cropping systems is steadily growing. An indication of this is the registered attendance for our annual Seed Growers’ Conference which will be held January 10-13, 2006 in Troutdale, Oregon which has had a full registered attendance of 160 farmers, seed company personnel, and university researchers since before Christmas. The waiting list is growing by the day for this scientific conference presented in cooperation with Oregon State University and Washington State University.

Seed production for modern agriculture has become a very specialized field. The consolidations throughout the industry have resulted in less than 10 companies controlling the vast majority of crop genetics for the world seed market. All aspects of the seed that is produced for this “agricultural industrial complex” are antithetical to the ideals that most organic farmers hold concerning sustainability. Most of the people who have dedicated their lives to organic agriculture have a clear understanding that in order for us to create a truly independent agricultural system that we will have to develop and have control of our own crop genetic resources. In order to do this we must train a new generation of farmers the skills required to produce high quality, well adapted crop seed germplasm. The project activities I will describe in this annual report will address several of the ways that I am involved in this process and how indeed these activities are supporting the content and creation of the Seed Growers’ Handbook: Producing Vegetable Seeds for Sustainable Agriculture.

The objective of my work in producing a seed grower’s manual is to supply detailed practical information for small to mid-size farmers on the techniques of producing vegetable seed using sustainable organic farming practices. This involves; 1) gathering information from many varied sources, both published in agricultural research publications, older USDA/state land grant bulletins, or from individuals within the seed industry with practical “field knowledge” that may not be documented in any publications, and 2) receiving feedback from farmers interested in producing seed crops who participate in a series of workshops that present many of the core concepts of growing seeds. By interacting with these participant farmers through workshops, questionnaires, and on farm visits by myself and extension staff it is possible to gauge their level of understanding of the materials being taught and to determine which material might either be too simple, too difficult, not appropriate, or not appropriately presented.

I am currently involved in two projects where I am training farmers in the theories, cultural practices, and technical aspects of producing and improving organic vegetable seed crops. The first project “Producing Organic Vegetable Seed – Farmer Education Project” (POVS) is funded by WSARE (SW04 – 115) has a strong emphasis on Field Days where we teach growers many of the specific skills that they will need to successfully grow a seed crop. Topics include selection to type, recognizing diseases and pests, maintaining quality, harvesting, cleaning and marketing of the seed crop. Educators will interface with growers for their input on appropriate material for specific crop seed manuals. This information will also be used for the Seed Grower’s Manual.

The next project is a series of 2 to 3 day workshops sponsored by the Organic Seed Alliance [OAS], a non-profit organization in Port Townsend, Washington that educates farmers in sustainable seed production techniques. We sponsor these from 5 to 8 times per year and have offered them in 12 states and in Canada in the past three years. Importantly we incorporate questionnaires to gather information in order to utilize feedback from growers in order to shape the content of the Seed Growers’ Manual. I also gathered quite a bit of information from a two-year involvement in Restoring Our Seed (NESARE - LNE 02 – 160). While Restoring Our Seed is officially completed it has supplied me with valuable information on farmers’ educational needs via questionnaires from growers.

Finally, I have been teaching a three quarter module at The Evergreen State College called the Practice of Sustainable Agriculture in 2006 with two quarters that had a strong emphasis on sustainable agriculture’s need to develop its own crop genetic resources. Most students were at the beginning level and I became well-versed over the course of these classes how essential it is to lay a strong, but easily understood biological foundation to seed growing practices and not let the simple precursors to the process of seed production be overlooked.

Objectives/Performance Targets


Targets: 1) That farmers incorporate improved practices learned at workshops for seed production.
2) Farmers keep track of % vigor, seed yields, severity of disease, flowering dates and times.
3) Farmers incorporate seed cleaning practices to improve time spent and % harvestable yield.

Degree of Change That Constitutes Success: 1) Of the 150+ farmers taking these workshops each year at least 35 will incorporate two of the following seed growing practices: 1) planting at the appropriate spacing, 2) planting in the appropriate time slot for seed production, or selecting for 3) seedling vigor, 4) cold soil emergence, 5) Horizontal resistance [HR] to diseases, 6) uniform flowering, 7) prolific flowering, 8) early seed maturity, and for 9) high seed yield.

2) Of the 35 growers who participate, 15 farmers will be Target Growers and work with extension agents who will monitor their progress and verify changes with on-farm visits.

Verification of Change: Extension agent Mark Hutton, and “lay extension agent” Tom Stearns, will each visit the 15 seed growers in their respective states to verify the changes in seed yield and quality at the end of the season. Measurable changes could be;
1) Extension agents see less disease during the season due to selection practices.
2) Increased seed yield on plants selected for HR and prolific flowering.
3) Cleaner seed (higher quality) on plants selected for HR and early maturity
4) Farmers able to cut cleaning time by 1/3 and retrieve a higher % seed after threshing

We will know when we have met the above performance goals based on reports from the growers themselves as they return questionnaires and actually report on specific verifiable changes. Also the extension visits can verify some of the specific measurable changes listed above during visits.



This has been another very productive year for reaching the Milestones laid out in the original grant proposal. In a series of workshops to train organic seed growers that was sponsored by the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) we were able to reach well over 200 participants. These workshops took place in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and in the Canadian province of British Columbia. We were able to get questionnaires completed by beginning and veteran seed growers attending all of the workshops. Over 150 attendees of our seed growers’ conference in January, 2006 will be exposed to several valuable classes that are being presented for the first time. We have a continued relationship with farmers in Vermont who work closely with Tom Stearns of High Mowing Seeds to measure some of the benefits in their seed crops’ performance with excellent feedback for this project. Likewise 8 farmers working with me in the Pacific Northwest have continued to report on a number of the improvements in their seed crops that they experienced from working with concepts learned in our workshops. This information has been invaluable in directing my attention to the most pertinent and practical information to include in the Seed Grower’s Manual at the end of this project.

The first Milestone of announcing these workshops was easily met as we had enthusiastic support from several prominent organic agricultural publications and a truly remarkable network of farmers hungry for information on this subject. The periodicals that were so helpful in disseminating the news of our workshops included Growing for Market, Mother Earth News, New Farm (on line), and the OSA website and mailings. We have also had the good fortune to have a regional newspaper for farmers in the Northwest, The Capitol Press, cover our seed growing workshops extensively in 2006. Their distribution and readership is in the thousands and has been a real boost to getting our message out! Through these media we easily reached 500 people and had many people contact us from parts of the country not included in our itinerary that inquired on when we would hold a class in their region.

Our second Milestone, to have 150 people register and attend seed workshops, was easily met. We had wonderful turnouts for one day workshops at Nash Huber’s Farm in Sequim, WA (~40 people X 2 events), at Don Tipping’s Farm in Williams, OR (~25 people) and at Fred Brossey’s Farm in Shoshone, ID (~25 people). In British Columbia we had an even more experienced group of true seed growing devotees (~35 people) than we had in 2004 for a summer three day workshop. At all of these events we had more hands-on events than had been available previously and these exercises proved to be very well received.

The third Milestone of gathering 150 questionnaires was easily met. Of these the most valuable were the questionnaires from ~25 of the most experienced British Columbia growers and the ~40 of the most experienced growers that attended the two workshops at Nash Huber’s farm in Washington [see milestone 5]. We have also continued to receive comprehensive grower information from the Target Growers in VT and 8 Target Growers in the Northwest [Milestone 4 & 5].

While the procedures to continue the fourth Milestone were no longer funded after the end of last year’s funding cycle, I did still keep in close contact with Tom Stearns on the progress of his Vermont growers and I remain in close contact with my 8 growers in the Northwest as described in the Outcomes section.

The fourth Milestone that I set was to find 15 Target growers from among the attendees of the workshops. Initially it seemed logical to enlist growers that were in close proximity to the two “extension agents” that had an interest in vegetable seed crops in New England and that were working closely with the Restoring Our Seed SARE project. In the case of Tom Stearns of High Mowing Seeds this was a very logical choice as Tom works closely with a number of farmers who grow seed in Vermont. Tom’s official position is as a “lay extension agent” on this project. Tom has done a splendid job enlisting 7 farmers (and his own farm as no. 8) to keep track of successes and failures in vegetable seed production, in the context of techniques learned through our workshops. The other “extension agent” I enlisted in this project is Mark Hutton, a real Maine ag extension agent. As stated in last year’s Annual Report the reception among growers in Maine to the idea of monitoring their progress in using concepts from the classes was quite a bit more reserved than what I felt from the Vermont growers. This proved very true indeed. Mark received a real cool reaction from the Maine seed growers who I thought I had enlisted for the project. In his words “They didn’t seem to be interested in going to the next step in developing their commercial market with seeds.” In fact, in my assessment I believe that they are in part fearful of learning about “what they are doing wrong.” Mark has a lot of wonderful experience in the seed industry (he was a breeder at three prominent seed companies) and is getting rebuffed for reasons that have kept some farmers isolated for countless generations.

Learning of this problem in the implementation of my fourth Milestone I decided to enlist the best 8 growers from my region of the country (Pacific Northwest) as replacements to the Maine growers. In 2005 I continued to get a great response from these growers and they are very interested in improving their techniques. I have continued to see real improvements in their cropping successes with vegetable seeds in several key areas. A summary of the successes of the Target Growers will be discussed in the Outcomes section.

I am including most of the original section from the fifth Milestone (2004 annual report) as it has to do with the great summary of responses that we received from growers through the answers on their questionnaires. We continued to get feedback in 2005 through questionnaires gathered at all of the Organic Seed Alliance workshops. These are being summarized this winter by the OSA staff for the WSARE (SW04 – 115) funding. Following is the original 2004 annual report language so that you can see the kind of success we have had.

As stated in milestone 3 we had 16 experienced growers from VA and 24 experienced growers from BC and WA (and a couple from Idaho!) who were among the 35+ growers that we enlisted to try at least two growing practices from the workshops [as stated in Milestone 5]. In VA we were very fortunate to work with Brian Rakita from the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Brian has worked with at least 40 seed growers in the Southeast over the last 8 years. He has passed along a number of our growing practices and when we held a class in VA in February this year we were fortunate to get responses from 16 of his growers in our questionnaires. Of these 16 farmers there were 10 who had tried two (or more) of these techniques and noted favorable changes and 6 farmers who had tried one technique with some success. In a breakdown of these VA farmers 7 had started selection programs for various favorable traits, 3 selected for Horizontal resistance to disease, 4 monitored for seed borne diseases, 5 changed their population sizes to avoid inbreeding, 3 changed their isolation distances, and 5 changed their harvest practices. Also 4 were more conscious of the difference between selfers and crossers in the way they managed seed production.

In BC workshops in 2004 (with growers from the US and Canada) we had a number of great student farmers, many who had attended at least two workshops. Here we had 24 questionnaires from growers who had tried at least one of the growing practices taught at our workshops. In fact 17 had tried at least two of the prescribed growing practices and 7 had tried one practice. Among these growers 13 had started selection programs for various favorable traits, 10 selected for Horizontal resistance to disease, 2 monitored for seed borne diseases, 13 changed their population sizes to avoid inbreeding, 5 changed their isolation distances, and 5 changed their harvest practices. Also 13 were more conscious of the difference between selfers and crossers in the way they managed seed production (we worked this point hard with these growers!)

These 40 growers (16 VA and 24 BC & WA) definitely satisfied our Performance Target of having 35+ farmers who incorporate at least two of the seed growing practices (well 27 tried two or more and 13 tried one). But this was quite satisfying for me to know that attendees were definitely responding even when they weren’t being monitored by our “extension staff.” Hence this was a Degree of Change That Constitutes Success in this project.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes


At the end of 2004 I described a Verification of Change based on 15 target growers from both Washington and Vermont based on a Performance Target from the original grant. These “outcomes” of real improvement on the farm were to be verified and mediated via the “extension agents” that I recruited for this grant namely Tom Stearns in Vermont and Mark Hutton in Maine. As reported in last year’s annual report Tom Stearns did an exemplary job of both identifying and mentoring independent farmers in the process of growing seed, while Mark Hutton had run into a real resistance with Maine growers who really didn’t want to expand or improve their seed growing operations to embrace the ideas that I and my colleagues had put forth in our Organic Seed Production workshops. Hence I had expanded my reporting of examples of Verification of Change to a group of Northwest farmers that I had worked with who were really embracing the information they had received in our varied workshops and were really experiencing a change. Although the funding for any extension work ended with last year’s work, I have kept track of the work of these Target Grower’s and will update their progress here. As you will be able to ascertain the overall success with favorable Outcomes and having the growers incorporate new techniques is with the Northwest growers. A possible explanation of this probably has to do with the amount of educational contact we have had with these growers over the past several years with our workshops and field days here in the Northwest.

Vermont Target Growers:

France Prevost; France has now selected an Acorn squash for several years which originally had 7% plants with off-type fruits. After 2 generations of selection the number of off-type plants is below 1% and in 2004 was within allowable limits. In 2005 he continued this work and through growing a large population of this Acorn squash he was able to continue to identify and discard offtypes and become more astute at producing a large seed crop efficiently.

Jodie Lew-Smith; The research and selection plots that Jodie began in 2004 on her farm were continued and expanded to also be done at the High Mowing farm in 2005 (and will be continued in 2006). In 2004 different planting regimes based on planting time, spacing, fertility, and monitoring of disease took place. At high density planting a couple of crops were complete failures due to disease. Several plantings were too late to maturity in a cool Vermont summer. These outcomes are very important as information for growers in this region. A notable yield difference was measured when the Asian green tat soi was grown at two different densities. In 90 row feet the 4 inch between plant spacing outyielded the 12 inch spacing by 30%. Jodie benefited from this knowledge directly in 2005 by growing one acre of arugula seed at the 4 inch spacing and realizing an excellent yield.

Asuyah (Basin Farm); In their first seasons growing tomato seed they were unable to clean dried pieces of tomato skin out of their tomato seed and getting penalized for 5% of the cost of their crop by High mowing for additional labor. After learning a new crushing/extraction method at a seed workshop their efficiency and methodology improved in 2004 and their seed was clean enough that they received a 5% bonus at High Mowing for clean seed. This is an ~10% increase in profits for improved seed quality. Unfortunately they did not produce any seed crops for High Mowing Seeds in 2005.

Thomas Case: This vegetable farmer wanted to grow lettuce seed to augment his vegetable business, but when he attempted to get seed from his lettuce crops that he left in the field they never fully matured. After attending seed workshops he learned of planting lettuce as early as possible and using poly tunnels to increase heat units. He went from no seed from a row of 200 plants to 5 lbs of seed from the same no. of plants under plastic in 2004. While he has continued with this activity in 2005 he has been somewhat fearful of attempting more seed crops. I believe his situation is representative of many growers who are interested in growing seeds but are not exposed to enough instruction and mentoring that can be fostered through well-organized workshops.

Bill Loscomb; This grower went from having fairly poor quality in his first Brassica seed crops (cracked seed, splits, chaff) and getting penalized 5% at High Mowing to having very good seed quality in the same Brassica crops with several low tech seed cleaning devices that he fabricated. He learned of this type of seed cleaning equipment from our workshops. He then received a 5% bonus for clean seed from High Mowing, thus getting ~ 10% more for each Brassica seed crop. While Bill was increasing his quality through his work with High Mowing and concepts learned through some of our educational materials he was having a hard time realizing any gains from increasing his scale of efficiency. He hesitated in increasing his scale due in large part to ignorance of how to make this transition. Subsequently, like Thomas Case, I believe that Bill’s potential as a commercial seed grower would have been greatly improved had he been exposed to more educational instruction and mentoring concerning seed production in workshops and classes.

Tim Sanford; This grower has grown Butternut squash for a number of years and was disappointed with the percentage of fruit that did not ripen each year as only ripe fruit produce viable seed. He started to select for earliness and other quality traits based on info gleaned from the workshops. He now has increased the amount of ripe fruit from ~50% of the crop to ~65% of the crop. This increased his seed yield measurably by 2004 and he is continuing this trend in 2005.

Carl Benson; He is a newer grower for High Mowing and only had failure to report in 2004. Due to lack of rotation from his vegetable crops to his seed crops he was hit with an extreme case of Sclerotinia in his arugula crop in his first year. However, in 2005 he had a very successful seed crop with an acre of yellow summer squash production. He had a very good opportunity with this crop to learn the ropes with commercial scale seed extraction with a vine harvester and learning how to separate the flesh, peel, and stems from the seeds.

High Mowing Farm; The High Mowing farm has grown seed crops for the seed company for a number of years. Most prominent are the Brassica crops, which Tom has selected for disease resistance, most notably Alternaria and Sclerotinia. Selecting for individual Brassica plants with Horizontal resistance to both of these diseases has been successful endeavor for High Mowing. It wasn’t uncommon for there to be between 20% and 40% of the plants affected by these diseases in the past, whereas several of the selected varieties now rarely have more than 10% of the population affected by these pathogens. In 2005 this farm expanded the spacing, plant density, and planting date trials that were started at Jodie Lew-Smith’s farm and they continued to make progress in discovering which planting rate was best, the ideal planting dates, and if direct seeding or transplanting is best for their short season conditions. They found that for several of the small seeded Brassica crops that direct seeding was too liable to be affected by weed pressure, hence they have to transplant. They also found that can’t plant crops like Mizuna later than May 1st or it will flower before the plant is able to grow to a sufficient size to bear an optimum amount of seed for harvest.

Pacific Northwest Target Growers:

Fred Brossy: Fred had tried to select out off-types of an Armenian cucumber after fruit set without much progress. In our class he learned several methods for selecting pre-fruit set and is making much quicker progress. In 2005 Fred was given the challenge of identifying offtypes in several standard green bean stock seed lots for a major producer of Certified Organically Grown seed. We then put this process under the spotlight in a workshop we conducted on organic bean seed production through WSARE. With the help of the state supported Idaho Foundation Seed Program we were able to train Fred and workshop participants in the methods of identifying plants within a varietal population that are either genetic offtypes or seed mixes and successfully purify the seed stocks to make them commercially acceptable. Fred thereby was able to harvest four varieties of stockseed that had been “cleaned-up” through this roguing process and is now confident in his ability to use this newfound skill to gain contracts for this work from commercial seed companies.

Randy Carey: Randy was enlisted to select against Rhizoctonia in his beet seed plantings. Up to 15% of his roots were affected 3 generations ago. His Rhizoctonia rate is now below 10% and he is continuing his selection. In 2005 Randy continued this selection in the ‘Crosby Green Top’ population he had been selecting and he screened several other beet populations in this infected ground (his Rhizoctonia cesspool) for a major seed company. He was able to ascertain the extent of Rhizoctonia in the new varieties he was screening, report the extent of each varieties’ susceptibility to the disease, and then select the non-infected roots for stock seed production for the company. This is another example of a seed grower developing a valuable skill that can bring the grower valuable contracts for a seed company in need of improving their genetic stocks.

Steve Habersetzer: Steve had made some progress selecting for Fusarium resistance in spinach. He selected heavily against this disease in 2004 and made significant progress. In 2005 Steve’s spinach seed contract had him switch to another type of spinach and unfortunately no Fusarium root rot appeared and hence he was unable to apply any selection pressure. Fortunately, this spinach was segregating in form and leaf type and Steve did exercise selection for these traits. In 2006 Steve will grow this same type of spinach again and will be able to observe the results from his selection in 2005.

Nash Huber: Nash has grown spinach seed for several years with out selecting against Fusarium root rot. This year we will select for the most resistant plants then compare the two lots in the next cycle. Nash has changed his spacing due to our classes and gets much better seed size in his spinach. (crowding = small seed). In 2005 we had hoped for an outbreak of Fusarium root rot in order to select for resistance. Unfortunately, as with Steve Habersetzer, no such outbreak appeared (possibly due to environmental conditions). However Nash did start selection for leaf type and plant stature, although he did not achieve adequate spacing (one needs wider spacing for these traits for effective selection). Subsequently all selection that was attempted by Nash and by participants at an early summer WSARE sponsored workshop was more difficult, giving everyone a great example of how important it is to do plant selection when the plants are at the proper wide spacing that allows you to see each plant individually.

Frank Morton: He learned to recognize partial or Horizontal resistance at our workshops for Downy mildew and now has developed lettuce varieties that definitely have resistance to Downy mildew. Frank’s latest work concerns developing methods of harvesting seed during wet conditions. Frank has experimented with methods of wind row placement, use of specific modern fabrics to shield drying seed from precipitation, and subsequent drying methods in greenhouses. This research is original and has inspired a number of other growers looking for solutions to poor harvest conditions.

Beth Rasgorshek; Beth had struggled to grow edamame soy beans until she attended a workshop and realized that the style of harvest was different than with common beans due to shattering. She incorporated a swathing at a greener stage and recovers most of her crop now. In 2005 Beth planted several bean seed varieties under a commercial contract and was a very interested party at our stockseed selection workshops at Fred Brossy’s farm. Unfortunately, just as she was learning to identify several of the seed-borne diseases that are of a serious concern in beans she had an outbreak of Bacterial Blight in her bean seed crop, which was detected by the state seed certification board. She had to destroy her seed crop and will now be one of our greatest advocates in teaching farmers to identify seed borne diseases in the field.

Bill Reynolds: Bill has grown tomato seed for years and always gotten ~70% germination rate. From our class he learned about leaving the fruit on the plant till dead ripe. His germ rates went up to ~90% this year. Bill did not grow tomato seed commercially in 2005 for the first time in many years.

Don Tipping: Don discovered Downy Mildew in his onion crop this year and made his first selection for Horizontal resistance on this year’s bulbs. He will grow these for seed next year and a comparison will start in the next cycle. In 2005 Don grew these selected bulbs for seed, gathering seed from individual plants in order to do a progeny row selection against Downy Mildew in 2006 (the slow progress in breeding and selecting biennials!)

Seed Growers Conference: Troutdale, Oregon; January, 2006

This conference was in many ways a culmination of work that we have been doing on organic seed issues for the past five years. Many of the 150 attendees (our limit due to space – we turned away over 50 people) were farmers and small seed company personnel who had taken our class and who let us know how much our work had guided them into this whole new world of seed production. The breadth of the talks, round table discussions, and workshops were excellent and the scope of questions and involvement from participants throughout was truly first rate.

The theme for the conference was on seed quality, stressing the need for attaining commercial quality standards for all seed that is produced by small organic growers. We had researchers from U.C. Davis, U. Wisc., and the U. of Idaho speaking on nutritional quality, researchers from W.S.U., O.S.U. and High Mowing talking about controlling seed borne diseases, and several of our best west coast seed growers (and myself) talking about their organic systems and the challenges of growing high quality seed under various environmental pressures. We had spectacular workshops on seed cleaning and the appropriate scale for hot water seed treatment for small seed companies treating seed for seed borne diseases. Best of all we had a rousing session on the economics of growing organic vegetable seed with a round table of seed growers and seed company personnel that had an endless string of great questions from the audience and really brought up issues of concern with many of the seed producers in the room. Almost everyone agreed that it was the best event to ever happen concerning organic seed production.

Lastly I’d like to report on the progress of the book. 1) First of all, most of the recent writing concerns the plant families and profiling the specific crops. Each of the crops is profiled with the other members of that specific plant family and the similarities and differences between them. I have now finished roughly 60% of the crops for this part of the book. New material is also being added via Evergreen lectures of the past year. 2) For the beginning of the book I am working on a section that describes Why Organic Seed is Important. 3) This is followed with the History of Commercial Seed in North America. 4) New info on Pollination and Reproductive Biology is being added to a chapter that is almost complete. 5) Isolation Distances and Population Sizes are complete. 6) A new chapter on Crop Challenges and one on The Market for your Seed are being planned. 7) Lastly, seed borne diseases is being overhauled and added to although at some point I will have to call it complete. Lastly I will really have to concentrate on some needed photos this year and the real work of readable tables for the hard core data I am presenting.

Again, I would like to thank SARE for funding this important work. It is truly amazing how many farmers we are reaching. This work is blossoming with each new person that we attract to seed growing as part of their livelihood.