Organic Seed Growers Conference 2016 Live Broadcast Feb 5-6

This webinar took place on February 5-6, 2016.

Find recordings from this conference on this YouTube playlist:

To find out more about the in-person conference, check the Organic Seed Alliance website. eOrganic thanks the Organic Seed Alliance and USDA NIFA OREI for the opportunity to bring you these recordings!

Broadcast Program

Friday, February 5th, 9-10:30AM Pacific (10 Mountain, 11 Central, 12 Eastern)
Seed Economics: How to Make Growing and Selling Seed More Profitable

Seed production brings multiple benefits to farm operations from improved seed security to increasing on-farm biodiveristy, but most seed growers struggle with assessing its true financial profitability. Presenters will share example enterprise budgets for on-farm seed production that highlight the important expenses and potential profitability of online packet sales, rack sales, and bulk sales to seed companies.

  • Sebastian Aguilar, Chickadee Farm
  • Daniel Brisebois, Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm
  • Steve Peters, Organic Seed Alliance
  • Sarah Kleeger, Adaptive Seeds

Friday, February 5th, 2-3:30PM Pacific (3 Mountain, 4 Central, 5 Eastern)
Seed Equipment: On-farm Innovations

Seed producers are some of the most innovative engineers in agriculture. In this session, organic seed producers will share photos and stories about equipment they have modified or built to effectively harvest, thresh, and clean seed on their farms. Participants will have the opportunity to share their own on-farm innovations and learn from one another’s equipment hacks.

  • Petra Page-Mann, Fruition Seeds
  • Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance

Friday, February 5th, 4-5:30 PM Pacific (5 Mountain, 6 Central, 7 Eastern)
Vegetable Breeding Research Updates

Hear updates on organic vegetable plant breeding projects from across the U.S., including the goals and methods for these projects, and plans to release varieties. Crops include winter squash, tomatoes, sweet corn, and carrots.

  • Edmund Frost, Twin Oaks Seed Farm
  • Jim Myers, Oregon State University
  • Phil Simon, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Alex Stone, Oregon State University
  • Bill Tracy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance

Saturday, February 6th, 9-10:30 AM Pacific (10 Mountain, 11 Central, 12 Eastern)
Organic Cover Crop Seed Production

Cover crops are a critical tool for managing organic systems, but many farmers struggle with limited access to organic sources of appropriate regional varieties. Participants will learn about regional efforts to increase access to cover crop seed, and the potential ecological and economic incentives for on-farm cover crop seed production.

  • Ray Hicks, University of Georgia
  • Matt Leavitt, Albert Lea Seed
  • Sam McCullough, Nash's Organic Produce

Saturday, February 6th, 1:30-3 PM Pacific (2:30 Mountain, 3:30 Central, 4:30 Eastern)
Vegetable Seed Production: Scaling up

Growth in the organic seed market has resulted in a need for increased scale of production in the U.S. and Canada. Growing seed on the farm can be profitable when growing the right crops at the appropriate scale with the most suitable methodologies. This session will explore challenges, needs, and approaches for scaling up production. Presenters will discuss issues to consider when a seed operation decides to scales up and include farmers who have successfully expanded their seed business.

  • Aabir Dey, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security
  • Steve Peters, Organic Seed Alliance
  • Andrew Rainey, Enza Zaden
  • Melanie Sylvestre, BC Eco Seed Co-op and UBC Farm

Saturday, February 6th, 3:30-5 PM Pacific (4:30 Mountain, 5:30 Central, 6:30 Eastern)
Managing Seed Borne Disease: Brassica Black Leg and Implications for Organic Seed Producers and Industry

2014 marked a widespread outbreak of Brassica black leg, Phoma lingam, in the Willamette Valley igniting an intensive risk management effort; including quarantine measures from the Oregon and Washington state departments of agriculture (ODA and WSDA). Black leg is a critical seed borne pathogen and poses a major threat to the seed industry and organic farmers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Presenters will share practical management measures including new ODA rules and WSDA quarantine rule amendment on brassicas in relation to black leg. Learn about the important role organic seed industry and farmers play in helping reduce the risk of introducing and disseminating this and other seedborne pathogens on brassica seed.

  • Lindsey du Toit, Washington State University
  • Cindy Ocamb, Oregon State University

Published January 21, 2016

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.