STRENGTHENING PUBLIC CORN BREEDING TO ENSURE ORGANIC FARMERS' ACCESS TO ELITE CULTIVARS
Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research
Project Number: 5030-21000-063-06
Start Date: Sep 01, 2010
End Date: Aug 31, 2015
a) To assemble a catalog of corn breeding germplasm for organic production in the major U.S. corn-producing areas; b) To build a sustainable corn breeding effort that can reliably provide varieties to an emerging seed industry dedicated to organic markets; c) To build a cooperative network including farmers, small seed companies, winter nursery providers, organic grain users, and others that ensures that organic farmers have access to elite corn varieties; d) To develop cultivars that are targeted for organic needs and adapted for seed production and grain production under organic conditions through on-farm testing, stress nurseries, and grain quality testing; and e) To disseminate our results through farmer meetings, seminars, booklets, scholarly publications, by working with seed, retail, and end-user companies, and by putting information on the internet.
Our project will strengthen the various components of this team effort, enabling us to develop, test, multiply, and release high yielding corn cultivars to small seed companies for development for organic farmers as soon as possible. It will involve accelerated breeding, testing, and multiplication utilizing testing sites in Iowa, Wisconsin, New York, Ohio, and Illinois, and winter nurseries. The project will include educational work with farmers and cooperation with industry partners.