Apr 4, 2024

Carrot conference logoOrganic Seed Alliance is delighted to be participating in the 41st International Carrot Conference, happening in Raleigh, North Carolina from July 8-10, 2024. This year's conference will share the latest in carrot research and innovation, featuring research presentations and posters as well as an opportunity to visit carrot cultivar field trials. 

We invite you to submit abstracts for oral presentations and posters to be featured at the conference. If you have carrot-related research to share, send in your abstracts by May 1st, 2024, following the guidelines provided. We are particularly encouraging organic carrot research presentations, so if you're working in this area, we want to hear from you! Visit the conference Presentation & Poster Submissions page for more information. 

OSA’s participation in the conference is part of our Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) organic work. We are excited that CIOA lines will be included in the carrot cultivar field trials, including an Alternaria resistance trial. This is a fantastic opportunity for researchers, seed industry professionals, and farmers who work with carrots to see firsthand the latest advancements. 

Whether you're a grower, marketer, researcher, or just passionate about carrots, this conference is for you. Don't miss out on the early bird discount – secure your spot by registering before May 1st.

Learn more

Apr 4, 2024

In the world of organic agriculture, the question of better carrots isn’t just about yield—it’s about collaboration amongst farmers, breeders and eaters, reaching for flavors, colors, and other unique traits. The recent webinar hosted by Canadian Organic Vegetable Improvement Project (CANOVI) and Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) provided a fascinating glimpse into the collective efforts to enhance organic carrot varieties across Canada and the USA. Read more about these carrot trials here.

Feb 2, 2024

On February 7th, the Canadian Organic Vegetable Improvment Project (CANOVI) is offering a webinar about their carrot trials and breeding farm club by Micaela Colley of the Organic Seed Alliance, Phil Simon of the USDA ARS and CANOVI Project Leads Weijia Wang and Chris Thoreau. CANOVI is led by The Bauta Family Iniatiive on Canadian Seed Security in partnership with the University of British Columbia. Learn more and register here.

Mar 3, 2022
Read about this year's annual carrot harvest in El Centro and learn about our rainbow carrot variety breeding work.

This year marks the beginning of the final four-year OREI grant funding cycle for our Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) project. We kicked off the year as we always do with a favorite “work vacation” to the winter carrot nursery at University of California Desert Research Station in El Centro, California to harvest and evaluate thousands of carrots. Even though we’ve been going for nearly a decade, this week of carrot harvesting never fails to unearth new and exciting roots that pique our interests and imaginations.


colorful carrots
Mar 3, 2022

The recording and resources from this webinar, which took place on March 25, 2022, are available at

About the Webinar

Join us for a webinar to learn fundamental concepts and strategies that are key to successful carrot breeding work. The presenters will cover basic genetics, color expression, trait expression and selection, and demonstrate how to cut, evaluate, and select roots from a diverse array of orange and rainbow colored roots. Specific topics that will be addressed:

  • Which traits are straightforward to select for and which are not (more complex)
  • Strategies to tease out environmental effects from genetic expression
  • Basic color genetics - which colors are dominant and “easy to fix and work with” and which are more challenging
  • When to stop - traits that are very difficult or “impossible” to select out or away from
  • A word about male sterility - how it works in carrots (it’s naturally occurring) and what to do if, or when, it shows up
  • Root evaluation, selection, and storage
  • Funding for this webinar is provided by a NIFA OREI grant: Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture: Leveraging On-farm and Below Ground Networks.
Feb 2, 2021
New article featuring CIOA's soil microbial research.

CIOA collaborators have been working to better understand ways to bolster helpful soil microbes that can naturally protect carrots from disease. Take a deeper dive in this Morning AgClips article. (Photo credit: Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash)

Feb 2, 2021
CIOA's lead investigator Phil Simon sits down with Margaret Roach to talk all things carrots.

CIOA's lead investigator Phil Simon sits down with Margaret Roach to talk all things carrots. Listen to their converstation here!

Oct 10, 2019
Floral. Sweet. Crispy. Carroty. Discerning eaters know that carrots don’t all taste alike.

The CIOA project is working with a rainbow of carrots to breed new varieties with with fantastic flavor and improved nutritional quality. Our project partners at University of Wisconsin–Madison got to show off some of our carrots at the Farm to Flavor event in Madison, WI, last month. Read an update on the project and the event over at Organic Seed Alliance blog here.

Mar 3, 2019
Check out the Spring 2019 edition of Carrot Country magazine online for a deep dive into our research.

"...CIOA's main goal is to develop orange and novel colored carrots with improved disease and nematode resistance, improved weed competitiveness, and better nutrition and flavor. That's quite the genetic package, but progress toward releasing new varieties has been efficient – and relatively quick – thanks to the project's variety trial network that expands across the U.S."

Read the full article here (begins on page 4).

Jan 1, 2019
CIOA's lead researcher featured in this Gastropod all about carrots

Love carrots like we do here at the CIOA project? Did you know carrots were originally white?! They've come a long way to the colored carrot trials and breeding our research team is working on.

Check out this fantastic Gastropodcast episode all about these colorful roots and Dr. Phil Simon's work.

Listen here