The snap bean is a vegetable in the Fabaceae family and does have the capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen through a symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium spp. Historically, easy access to nitrate-based soil amendments at a relatively low cost has precluded the need to develop cultivars with improved nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE). Excessive fertilizer applications containing 40 to over 100 lbs. of N / acre have resulted in leaching and the contamination of ground and surface water.
Organic growers consider weeds their number one problem in crop production. Organic growers whether they grow vegetables, grains, herbs, berries, or native plants are constantly on the lookout for finding new technology that reduce severity of weed problems and yield losses. One method is to assess whether the use of compost extract would lead to weed seed suppression for better crop seed emergence.
The purpose of this five-year breeding project is to reduce transgenic contamination of organic maize grown in the USA by maintaining the integrity of organic maize seed. Organic farmers are not required to produce transgene-free crops, but they must plant seed that is free of transgene. An important objective of this project is the education of seed producers and organic farmers on how to use these “Organic-Ready” varieties for reducing the incidence of transgenic contamination.
There are two obvious barriers organic producers face when they consider on-farm processing. The first is psychological. On-farm processing can appear intimidating and beyond reach, on one hand; on the other, it may seem unnecessary to someone who is already “adding value” by raising crops or livestock organically. The second barrier—a more pragmatic one—is the lack of good, producer-friendly information on small-scale organic processing and handling.
Organic farmer interest in on-farm plant breeding has been on the rise due to a lack of available germplasm adapted to organic systems, a growing awareness of the value of regionally adapted varieties, and consolidations in the seed industry that have led to a decline in varietal offerings.
Growing blackberries and raspberries in high tunnels increases yields.
Investigator: Deborah Henderson, ES Cropconsult, Vancouver, British Columbia
Project locations: British Columbia and Oregon
Effectiveness and economic impact of weed control systems in organic garlic production
Investigator and project location: Susan Fluegel, Grey Duck Garlic, Moscow, Idaho