The Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) project launched an online tool this month to help farmers find new and existing varieties — and varieties in the works — of carrots, especially carrots of novel colors. The new gallery is the first of its kind and includes over 30 carrot varieties and advanced selections included in CIOA. Gallery users can search material by color, disease resistance, shape, flavor, length, origin, top size, and commercial availability. Also included are images of each carrot — both the full root and a cross-section showing the core. The gallery will be updated to include links to project trial results.
Take a tour of the new gallery in the CIOA webinar hosted last month by eOrganic. In addition to the gallery tour, members of the CIOA research team present results from the first three years of the project. In particular, advancements in breeding under organic conditions for nematode resistance and for beneficial relationships with soil microorganisms.
CIOA research is filling this important research gap and will eventually release improved varieties that meet these and other needs of organic carrot growers. This research focuses on delivering varieties that germinate rapidly, have good seedling vigor, compete with weeds, resist pests, and are efficient at nutrient uptake. Researchers are also exploring the response of genotypes to soil microbial environments and comparing the performance of varieties in organic versus conventional farming systems through replicated trials in four states (California, Indiana, Washington, and Wisconsin).