Organic farmers need to know how varieties will perform in their specific farming environment. OSA conducts variety trials to help farmers choose the right varieties for their farms. In addition, researchers use this data to determine breeding priorities. The data is collected through regional and national variety trial networks and is made widely available through a national database.
Not all organic systems are alike. Climate, soil type, and nutrient management vary by farm and region. Through projects such as Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) and Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) we are researching how varieties perform in different organic systems. This information will help OSA and other organic plant breeders adapt crops to the organic farms of their intended use.
“We know system diversity is one of the foundation stones to successful organic production and we have seen a demonstrated commitment from OSA to build that component of diversity relating to seed. I want to ensure my dollars to on-the-ground projects, a place where an emphasis to make an enduring difference is part of the mandate and where my dollars can be leveraged to build a stronger, healthier food system around the world.”