Join OSA and eOrganic for the first of a two-part webinar on how to conduct on-farm variety trials to reduce risk on organic and specialty crop farms. This webinar will introduce farmers to the practice of variety trialing, detailing the reasons for conducting trials and how to plan a trial with a scope, scale, and focus that meet a grower’s needs. This session will also cover seed sourcing and important considerations for planting and managing a trial.
About the webinar series
Seed is a farmer’s first defense in the field, so identifying the best varieties through on-farm trials is an important risk management tool, especially for organic producers who don’t use chemical controls for production challenges, such as disease and pest pressures. Growers rely on varieties that perform well in their local climate and environmental conditions, include important production characteristics (e.g. disease resistance), and meet market demands.
The goal of the webinar series is to provide horticultural crop and small grain growers with the skills and information necessary to conduct effective on-farm trials, and how to manage risk in crop variety and seed sourcing decisions. These webinars include updated methods for conducting simple on-farm trials, new perspectives from organic certifiers, and an introduction to a new, user-friendly online tool that helps growers manage and evaluate variety trial data.
The webinar series is open to everyone but most appropriate for growers with at least two seasons of production experience. Prior to the webinar, participants are encouraged to review the newly published The Grower’s Guide to Conducting On-farm Variety Trials, which is available for free download at seedalliance.org/all-publications.
These webinars are offered through a collaboration between Organic Seed Alliance, University of Wisconsin- Madison, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency.