Sourcing Organic Seed Will Get Easier this October
Posted: September 5, 2012
Chet Boruff, the Chief Executive Officer of the AOSCA, and Kristina Hubbard, director of advocacy and communication for the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), presented a webinar through eOrganic on this new tool. If you are interested in viewing the webinar, it is archived at < www.extesnion.org/pages/25242 >.
Organic seed is fundamental to the success of the growing organic industry. As the presenters stated, "when organic growers have seed that performs well in organic systems, the entire organic food industry benefits." However, the availability of organic seed has not met demand. A farmer survey including respondents from 45 states conducted by the OSA found that only 20 percent used 100 percent organic seed. The remaining 80 percent pointed to a lack of availability or equivalency.
The AOSCA developed the Organic Seed Finder as a resource for growers seeking organic seed and also to assist organic certifying agencies in the verification of potential seed sources. It is currently working with seed companies to build the database.
The database has listings for field crops, vegetables and herbs and uses a simple search to narrow down available organic cultivars. For example, when looking for organic tomato cultivars, the search prompts you to select the type -- cherry, grape, paste/plum, processing, slicing or miscellaneous; days to maturity; color and disease resistance. Cultivars meeting the criteria selected are then shown, along with a link to the seed company offering each cultivar.
The public launch of the Organic Seed Finder is October 1st at < www.organicseedfinder.org >.
Elsa Sánchez, Penn State Plant Science, firstname.lastname@example.org