Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/6/2005
Publication Date: 11/9/2005
Citation: Pollak, L.M., Golden, J.C., Goldstein, W., Lamkey, K.R., Exner, D. 2005. Breeding high-quality corn for organic production with farmers. American Society of Agronomy Abstracts. CD Rom:Abstracts 2005 International Annual Meetings. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Producers involved in organic corn production have shown great interest in corn that will perform well in these systems to increase their profitability, in addition to having good nutritional quality. They are also concerned about having a continuing supply of good quality seed that can keep their input costs low. In 2003 USDA initiated our corn breeding project to meet these needs. Our project is a participatory, cooperative effort between producers, Practical Farmers of Iowa, and breeders from USDA-ARS, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and Iowa State University. Farmers are participants in yield trials, and on-farm selection and breeding. In 2004 we evaluated initial breeding materials from our respective breeding projects and other private and public sources for performance in conventional and sustainable agricultural systems. Experiments were carried out on 11 organic or low-input farms in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. In addition, experiments were replicated on two conventional in Iowa. We attempted to match entries to their areas of adaptation as much as possible, so not every entry was tested at every location. Environmental conditions were rough, with a cold wet spring followed by a cool summer in some areas and plots had to be abandoned on two sites. Grain samples were collected from the plots at harvest for grain composition. Yields were generally not high on the organic farms. Several public x private inbred crosses and some variety hybrids were competitive with the NC+ checks. Two locations had entries with significantly higher yields than the checks, with generally significant genotype by environmental interactions between locations. Several genetic backgrounds have been identified for improvement in sustainable agriculture systems.