Developing open-pollinated corn varieties for organic farmers

The purpose of this project has been to develop and evaluate our open-pollinated corn varieties for organic farmers. Our major efforts have been to increase the qualitative value and future marketability of these populations and also to increase their genetic diversity and agronomic value. This year we continued to breed white, yellow, red, and blue field corn varieties towards fitting niche markets that would give farmers that used this corn economic benefits. This included the following tasks: 1) We made crosses between blue and red populations with white populations in order to broaden the genetic diversity of these colored crns and to breed for white endosperms. 2) We made crosses between our population of large-seeded, white flour corn in order to diversify the population and increase its agronomic value. 3) We evaluated 46 different lines of our high-lysine, high-oil, and high vitamin E corn in replicated trials for yield and standing ability. 4) We inter-mated our high oil, lysine, and vitamin E corn populations with inbreds from the University of Illinois that possess high oil, carotenoid, and vitamin E contents in order to try to add the high carotenoid trait to our populations. 5) We crossed one of our white seeded populations with white seeded inbred populations from South Dakota State University with the goal of deriving a set of white seeded populations with different maturity dates.