Outcome of Farmer-based evolutionary participatory plant breeding for organic quinoa, buckwheat, and spelt

Using the most appropriate, regionally adapted quinoa varieties is critically important to the success of organic quinoa production. Sources for quinoa seed are outlined in the webinar Organic Quinoa Production, which Kevin Murphy delivered in collaboration with eOrganic. This is a valuable resource for farmers interested in the basics of quinoa production. This seminar also discusses various tools and techniques of use in quinoa production and post-harvest. As quinoa production is relatively new to most of the US, there are many important lessons learned regarding production and post-production methods.

Stemming from the initial buckwheat trials, evolutionary breeding populations were established on two organic farms in Washington State. These populations have responded to natural selection pressures in each environment, with marked changes in genetic composition, and are currently growing and continuing to adapt. They will provide an excellent source for buckwheat varieties in the future.

The spelt project continued with two additional years of variety trials, including European cultivars and advanced breeding lines from our organic spelt crosses from hybridizations from 2004 and 2005. Elite spelt breeding lines have been identified and are currently in the final stages of selection prior to consideration for variety release.