Did You Miss the Organic Seed Webinar?

NOP“Understanding the National Organic Program Seed Rule and Sourcing Organic Seed” is now archived and available at eXtension.org for anyone who missed the live broadcast on Friday, June 6, 2014.

Watch the webinar here.

The webinar covers the availability of organic seed, as well as the National Organic Program’s 2013 guidance that aimed to clarify the organic seed regulatory requirement. Presenters share perspectives on challenges in enforcing this requirement and recommendations for encouraging increased sourcing of organic seed. Finally, participants are introduced to tools and resources that support organic seed sourcing and production. This webinar is supported by a contract from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program.

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From the Field: Breeding Carrots for Organic Agriculture

Carrots_2014_1Earlier this spring, OSA’s research team planted ‘Spring Market’ carrots at Midori Farm, one of several farms partnering with us on breeding work here on the Olympic Peninsula. The carrots were planted for seed production and will eventually be used in our Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture project, a participatory plant breeding effort to develop high-quality carrots that perform well on organic farms.

‘Spring Market’ carrots are a traditional overwintered carrot for spring harvest from the Pukekohe region on the northern island of New Zealand. This region is particularly well known for onion and carrot production. OSA uses this variety as a parent in our breeding work for its exceptionally strong tops that don’t die off during the winter, allowing the root to be pulled from the ground in spring. We also use this variety because of its ability to remain edible for a much longer length of time through the spring compared to other carrot varieties. ‘Spring Market’ produces large roots with well-rounded carrot flavor and little secondary root growth. This variety was developed as an overwintering type, so its flavor is at its best after an extended period of cold storage or overwintering in the ground.

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One Year After GE Wheat Contamination & Still No Answers

wheat

One Year After GE Wheat Contamination, Wheat Farmers and Advocates Demand Immediate Action from USDA

May 29, 2014—On the one-year anniversary of the Department of Agriculture’s announcement of finding an unapproved, genetically engineered (GE) wheat in an Oregon field, farmers and allies are demanding an end to the approval of GE traits until measures are adopted to protect non GE-farmers and their markets from contamination by GE crops. A 2013 FOIA request uncovered up to 483 total field trial violations, demonstrating the serious potential for future contamination episodes.

“We’re still waiting for answers,” says Clint Lindsey, an Oregon wheat grower whose shipments were put on hold last year after the unapproved wheat was found. “Crop genes move in the environment and cannot be fully contained, yet USDA continues to approve experimental wheat trials. We deserve assurances that our markets won’t be halted again and put at risk.”

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Understanding the NOP Seed Rule & Sourcing Organic Seed

nop_logoPlease join us for an important organic seed webinar on June 6, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. EDT, 10:00 a.m. CDT, 9:00 a.m. MDT, 8:00 a.m. PDT.

The webinar, titled, “Understanding the National Organic Program Seed Rule and Sourcing Organic Seed,” is designed for organic certifiers, inspectors, and operations. It is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Register today.

The webinar will cover the availability of organic seed, as well as the National Organic Program’s 2013 guidance that aimed to clarify the organic seed regulatory requirement. Presenters will share their perspectives on challenges in enforcing this requirement, and recommendations for encouraging increased sourcing of organic seed. Finally, participants will be introduced to tools and resources that support organic seed sourcing and production. This webinar is supported by a contract from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program.

PRESENTERS

Kristina Hubbard, Organic Seed Alliance, Director of Advocacy and Communications

Emily Brown Rosen, USDA National Organic Program Standards Division, Agricultural Marketing Specialist

Zea Sonnabend, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), Organic Farm Inspector and Materials Policy Advisor; National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)

Cullen Carns-Hilliker, Midwest Organic Services Association, Certification Specialist

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Upcoming Course in WA: Breeding Self-Pollinating Crops

Navazio Headshot

We hope you’ll join us for a course on breeding self-pollinating crops on June 16, 2014, in Greenbank, WA.

Register today.

“Breeding Self-Pollinating Crops” is a day-long advanced course with experienced plant breeder Dr. John Navazio of Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) and Washington State University. Participants will learn how to traditionally breed and improve self-pollinated crops under organic conditions. The course will cover the theory and practice of plant breeding, including a detailed description of how to plan and implement your own breeding project. There will be both classroom and field instruction, including an observation of a planted escarole breeding project at Greenbank Farm. This course is intended to help farmers and gardeners improve and/or develop new self-pollinated crop varieties by giving them the skills and confidence they need.

Participants are expected to have attended a previous “Fundamentals of On-Farm Plant Breeding” course from OSA or have some background in seed saving and plant selection. Prior to the course, we recommend participants review OSA’s ”Introduction to On-farm Organic Plant Breeding,” available for free download here. This course is part of Greenbank Farm’s Organic Seed Project and is funded through the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

When: Monday, June 16, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $15 per person includes day-long course and lunch
Location: Greenbank Farm, 765 Wonn Rd A201, Greenbank, WA 98253
Register: Please register here prior to the event

Have questions? Please contact OSA at (360) 385-7192.

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