Producing Organic Vegetable Seed

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2004: $154,293.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Matthew Dillon
Organic Seed Alliance

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: beans, greens (leafy), radishes (culinary)


  • Crop Production: double cropping, intercropping, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement
  • Pest Management: biological control, cultural control, genetic resistance, physical control, mulching - vegetative
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships

    Proposal abstract:

    Cultivating the organic seed market

    Despite the continued growth in organic agriculture, the availability of organically grown seed has been limited because few seed companies have experience with organic production and few organic farmers have the skills to grow quality seed. To strengthen this weak link in organics, the project team plans to teach methods of producing organic seed to producers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The audience includes about 60 current organic seed growers as well conventional producers seeking potentially lucrative markets or interested in entering the seed production business. Seed production methods will be passed along to interested growers during field days. An early summer field day will focus on things like spacing, irrigation, fertility, diseases and crop selection. A late summer field day will discuss plant maturity, rouging, harvest, cleaning, conditioning and analysis of yield and quality.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    As of January 31, 2005 the project has not begun its field element and so has no performance target data to report.

    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.