OSA is happy to announce today the release of four organic plant breeding manuals that walk farmers through the methods of breeding new crop varieties on their farm. They include an introduction to on-farm organic plant breeding and three crop-specific breeding manuals covering carrots, sweet corn, and tomatoes.
“One of our goals is to empower organic farmers to breed their own crop varieties,” says OSA Executive Director Micaela Colley. “The methods described in these manuals can immediately be adopted by farmers to improve their skills in plant breeding, and, ultimately, improve their operations through seed varieties that are well-suited to their farms.”
Introduction to On-farm Organic Plant Breeding provides farmers an overview of basic genetics, farm-based experimental design, and breeding techniques appropriate for organic farms, among other useful background and instruction. The introductory guide provides the scientific foundation for the crop-specific instruction provided in the other three guides: How to Breed Carrots for Organic Agriculture, How to Breed Sweet Corn for Organic Agriculture, and How to Breed Tomatoes for Organic Agriculture. Each crop-specific manual provides step-by-step instruction from identifying good breeding material to maintaining a new variety for quality and uniformity.