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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Strengthening Public Corn Breeding to Ensure That Organic Farmers Have Access to Elite Cultivars: Outreach

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Manage project outreach efforts with farmers and industry for the multi-state breeding programs,.
2)work with breeders to identify and utilize organic farms for testing and.
3)assess success of outreach efforts.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
PFI has on-going farmer and seed company outreach activities in Iowa funded through our USDA appropriation; these will continue for the duration of this project. They include paying for research, field days, organizing our project’s annual meeting, and interacting with farmers. Funding from this proposal will supplement that effort in Iowa and especially boost it in the other states with organic organizations and coordinate those activities with PFI’s work. PFI will work closely to coordinate outreach with Organic Food & Farming Education & Research in New Mexico, and to coordinate work with the Organic Production and Marketing Program Work Team (a university-extension educator stakeholder group), New York Certified Organic (a farmer-organized group in central New York), and Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York. PFI outreach will coordinate workshops at already planned farmer meetings around the upper Midwest and into the northeast to discuss with farmers the current status of the project, report data results from yield trials, strip trials and feeding trials, provide a summary publication, obtain on-farm trial participants and solicit input from stakeholders about the future of the project. To gauge if our outreach efforts were successful a post research survey will be conducted.


3.Progress Report:

In FY 2012 Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) arranged: stakeholder meetings in Chicago, IL 12/08/11 and in Ames, IA 02/07/2012; field days at 07/07/12 McCallsburg, IA, 09/13/12 Jefferson, IA, 09/14/12 River Falls, WI.; presented at the Organic Seed Alliance conference in Port Townsend, WA January 18-21, 2012. Fall 2011 progress includes: coordinated the harvest of yield trials and strip trials from on-farm cooperators plots and organic United States Testing Network (USTN) locations; provided organic breeders with published yield trial data for future breeding decisions; facilitated winter nursery planning and execution; initiated monthly conference calls and at least bi-weekly email communications to keep group organized; maintained group conversations, documents, conference call notes, budgets, data, etc in one member only website for ease of PI networking; published a PFI research report of the strip trial results. Spring 2012 progress includes: re-evaluated the organic locations in the USTN and set new funding guidelines to be tested during the 2012 planting season; improved recruitment of organic USTN locations which number nine in 2012; continued USTN organizational development; improved logistics of USTN data collection; facilitated organic breeders participation in USTN; met with members of the organic plant breeding working group coordinated by the Organic Seed Alliance and published about this project in the Proceedings of the 6th Organic Seed Growers Conference. This project allows us to bolster organic corn breeders need to move their materials to market by coordinating with the USTN to reach the seed companies in most need of their materials.


Last Modified: 10/19/2014
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