Resources for Organic Plant Breeding



Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative

NOVIC Project Introduction. See also additional videos on breeding broccoli, carrots, peas, sweet corn and winter squash in the NOVIC project.

Breeding for Nutrition in Organic Seed Systems, 2012, by Philipp Simon, Jim Myers, Micaela Colley and Walter Goldstein

How to Breed for Organic Production Systems Webinar, by Dr. Jim Myers. 2011.

Introduction to On-Farm Organic Plant Breeding WorkshopCaptured live at the 2012 Organic Seed Growers Conference, John Navazio, Organic Seed Alliance and Washington State University, discusses the basics of on-farm plant breeding and presents two case studies.

Assessing Response to Environment in Organic Vegetable Crops. Presented in 2015 by Alex Lyon.

Vegetable Breeding Research Updates, by Jim Myers, 2016.

NOVIC as a model for breeding and trialing vegetable varieties for organic systems, 2019.

Lessons Learned in Farmer Participatory Breeding in the NOVIC Project, by Jim Myers. Recorded at the Organic Agriculture Research Forum at the SSAWG Conference on January 23, 2020. 

2020 Virtual Field Tour Week videos on NOVIC sweet corn and tomato trials

Sweet Corn and Flour Corn: Micaela Colley, Laurie McKenzie, and Katie Miller kick off the tour with a focus on corn. Both the sweet corn and flour corn crops are part of our Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) project. Our work with sweet corn is focused on breeding for a mild maritime climate. OSA’s Laurie McKenzie discusses our evaluation criteria as well as some of the challenges of growing sweet corn in the Pacific Northwest. Another part of our NOVIC project is focused on dry corn specifically for tortilla making quality. Through our partnership with Viva Farms, a farm incubator program in Skagit Valley, Washington, we’re working with a number of Oaxacan immigrant farmers there who want to find a good dry corn variety that will produce reliability in the region’s cooler climate. The dry corn they were growing from Oaxaca was adapted to a lower latitude and shorter day length and wouldn’t start to flower until the fall in the Pacific Northwest. Watch

Tomatoes: This field tour highlights the NOVIC project as well as the TOMI tomato breeding projects. The Tomato Organic Management Improvement (TOMI) project, is a national breeding partnership looking at a number of crosses made by the breeding team to assess for quality and disease resistance. This project is being led by Dr. Lori Hoagland at Purdue University. TheNOVIC project includes a tomato variety trial evaluation with Pacific Northwest farmers. These trials are specifically looking at evaluating for early fruiting, disease resistance, and performance as a high tunnel crop. The varieties chosen for this trial were a result of conversations between local farmers and our research field assistant, Katie Miller. Watch

What's so Special about Organic Seed? While in Port Townsend, Washington, the crew stopped at the Organic Seed Alliance to talk with seed geneticist John Navazio.

Organic Carrot Breeding by Dr. John Navazio:  Part 1;  Part 2;  Part 3

eOrganic YouTube site


Presentation by Michael Mazourek, Rachel Hultengren, and Lauren Brzozowski on February 5, 2016, at the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis, Oregon.

Organic Seed Alliance

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