Collaborative Breeding for and in Organic Systems

Project Overview

LNE04-204
Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2004: $187,688.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $113,745.00
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Molly Jahn
Cornell University

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Agronomic: potatoes

Practices

  • Education and Training: decision support system, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, technical assistance
  • Pest Management: genetic resistance, integrated pest management, prevention
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, public participation, social networks, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Organic varieties are the missing link in the organic production chain. Organic agriculture is based on conventionally bred varieties, and among these the variety choices are dwindling due to global changes and consolidation in the seed industry. Farmers are excellent breeders when given the resources and knowledge. By linking public breeders with organic growers and organic seed companies and doing collaborative on-farm breeding, new organic varieties will be developed that meet farmers’ needs. This will lead to greater sustainability for the organic farming community in the Northeast. Through 3 variety roundtables a minimum of 6 growers, 3 regional seed companies, and 3 public breeders will collaboratively develop a minimum of 6 advanced breeding populations that will meet growers’ variety needs and improve their long-term sustainability and viability.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    Performance Target
    Through 3 variety roundtables a minimum of 6 growers, 3 regional seed companies, and 3 public breeders will collaboratively develop a minimum of 6 advanced breeding populations that will meet growers’ variety needs and improve their long-term sustainability and viability.

    Milestones
    1)Sixty organic growers, 5 seed company representatives, and 5 public breeders attend 3 variety roundtables (20 growers/meeting) in Maine, New York and Pennsylvania to identify specific breeding objectives for priority vegetable crops.

    2)Three public plant breeders form partnerships with 6-10 organic farmers to begin collaborative breeding projects.

    3)A total of 80 farmers and 3 seed company representatives attend on-farm field days (6-10) for each year at each breeding site and learn breeding and selection techniques and make early generation selections in collaboratively produced breeding populations.

    4)Breeding collaboratives will develop a minimum of 6 advanced breeding populations that will meet growers’ variety needs and improve their long-term sustainability and viability.

    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.