Going Organic: Breeding Biofortified Field Pea and Sorghum

This webinar took place on February 5, 2021.

Slide handouts from the webinar:

Part 1: Dil Tharavajah
Parts 2 and 3: Tristan Lawrence and Rick Boyles

About the Webinar

Current organic grain production primarily utilizes plant cultivars (cultivated varieties) that have been selected for high-input (fertilizer, pesticides, etc.) production systems, but these are often not best suited for organic agriculture. Pulse crops such as field peas as well as ancient cereal grains like sorghum show great potential to meet the increasing consumer demand for organic plant-based protein, prebiotic carbohydrates, and essential micronutrients, especially within allergen- and gluten-free markets. Yet, very little cultivar development has been done to optimize the genetics of field pea and sorghum to maximize productivity and profitability for growers and also improve nutritional quality for end-users and consumers. This webinar will highlight the ongoing development of organic field pea and sorghum cultivars with improved nutrient composition using on-farm field selection.  The talk will also provide a brief insight into the advanced technologies being used for cultivar development.  Last but not least, we will discuss organic management practices used to produce these crops in both nutrient-rich (Clemson, SC) and marginal (Pelion, SC) soils.  This webinar is structured to be an informative, learning opportunity for current and prospective organic growers, as well as researchers, scientists, and students interested in organic cultivar development and management.


  1. Dil Thavarajah – organic field pea biofortification (10-15 min)
  2. Tristan Lawrence – organic field pea trials and management (trials, management, disease/insects, weeds) (10-15 min)
  3. Rick Boyles – organic sorghum breeding (10-15 min)
  4. Panel (Questions) – Dil Thavarajah, Rick Boyles, Tristan Lawrence, Emerson Shipe (remaining time)

Published January 4, 2021

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.