FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2017
 
CONTACT
Cathleen McCluskey, Organic Seed Alliance, (360) 472-0247, cathleen@seedalliance.org
 
Webinars to Focus on Organic Tomato Breeding, Flavor, and Disease Management

Port Townsend, WA – The Tomato Organic Management and Improvement (TOMI) project and eOrganic will host two online webinars this month focused on organic tomato production. The first in this two-part live-broadcast series will be held on March 7th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern and the second will be held on March 30th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Both webinars are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required.
 
TOMI is a multi-state project working to develop new tomato varieties that are resistant to the most problematic diseases facing organic tomato growers while maintaining exceptional flavor that customers expect from heirloom varieties. Learn more about the project at www.eorganic.info/tomi.
 
Webinar 1: Tomato Varietal Improvement
When: March 7, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern (1:00 p.m. Central, 12:00 p.m. Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific)
Cost: Free 
Register: Click here or visit http://articles.extension.org/pages/74055/tomato-varietal-improvement
 
Organic vegetable growers need varieties that are adapted to their farming systems. In this webinar, presenters will describe how farmers and formal breeders can develop improved vegetable varieties on their farm or in their breeding program using examples from the TOMI project. Specific topics will include: identifying key traits and choosing appropriate parents, making crosses and selecting from populations for desirable traits, using genetic markers to aid in selection, and more. 
 
Webinar 2: Using Biofungicides, Biostimulants and Biofertilizers to Boost Crop Productivity and Help Manage Vegetable Diseases
When: March 30, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern (1:00 p.m. Central, 12:00 p.m. Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific)
Cost: Free 
Register: Click here or visit http://articles.extension.org/pages/74056/using-biofungicides-biostimulants-and-biofertilizers-to-boost-crop-productivity-and-help-manage-vege
 
Effectively managing diseases is one of the biggest challenges facing organic vegetable growers. There is currently a wide range of biologically based products available on the market that claim to boost crop growth and help plants withstand many plant diseases. However, there are few independent, science-based studies to validate the efficacy of some of these products as well as instructions detailing how and when to apply them to achieve the best results. In this webinar, presenters will describe the different types of products available in the marketplace today, provide an overview of recent studies evaluating their efficacy, and discuss strategies for identifying the most effective products and application practices.
 
This project was funded in 2014 by an Organic Research and Extension Initiative grant, part of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Award #2014-51300-22267. 
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