Breeding

Developing "Organic-Ready" Maize Populations with Gametophytic Incompatibility Year III

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. 

Midwest Breeding Project Aims for Cold-Tolerant Sweet Corn

Summary

Investigator: William F. Tracy, Dept. of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin,
Madison, WI
Project locations: Wisconsin, Minnesota

Participatory plant breeding to improve sweet corn for organic farmers

In the upper Midwest, fresh market sweet corn is an important part of many diversified organic vegetable operations. Many organic farmers consider sweet corn crucial for attracting customers to their market stands or to their CSAs.

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

The purpose of this project was to identify varieties of quinoa, buckwheat and spelt optimally adapted to organic farming systems in Washington State. Quinoa varieties have been identified that perform well in both Eastern and Western Washington. The multi-location quinoa variety trials have led to the establishment of a robust organic quinoa breeding and agronomy program, with multiple students incorporating genetic, agroecological and social aspects into their research.

Creating two open pollinated, sugary enhanced sweet corn varieties

Investigator: Jonathan Spero, Lupine Knoll Farm, Williams, Oregon

Project location: Oregon

Maintaining our own seed allows the farmer to adapt seeds to his or her location and growing methods. Seed saving requires open pollinated varieties. Development work in the last 50 or more years has been almost entirely based on hybrids. While hybrids have advantages in creation of corn that is both uniform and productive, we can create open pollinated varieties that are better than any op’s now available.