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Breeding for Organic Production Systems: On Farm Variety Trials

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Breeding for Organic Production Systems Project:
On-Farm Variety Trials
for Organic Growers

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Breeding for Organic Production Systems: On Farm Variety Trials

  1. 1. Breeding for Organic Production Systems Project: On-Farm Variety Trials for Organic Growers Kelli Dale Project Coordinator Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA www.rafiusa.org
  2. 2. Rural Advancement Foundation International  Nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, NC.  RAFI combines on-the-ground services with policy and market advocacy in order to ensure that farmers have the opportunity to make the right choices for their farm and families and that these are also the right choices for the environment and farming community. www.rafiusa.org
  3. 3. What is BOPS? • BOPS stands for Breeding for Organic Production Systems • The project intends to increase the sustainability of organic agriculture by ensuring continual improvement of the genetic base for organic field crops. • Partnership between North Carolina State University (NCSU) and RAFI • Funded through USDA/OREI grant www.rafiusa.org
  4. 4. Long Term Goals • To release corn hybrids resistant to GMO contamination • To increase weed competitive ability in soybeans • To find seedling disease resistance in peanuts • To discover allopathic wheat lines through newly developed protocols • To increase the yield of all four crops under organic conditions www.rafiusa.org
  5. 5. RAFI’s Role • Provide farmers with information on the latest cultivars • On-farm trials that meet accepted research rigor while fully addressing farmers’ needs for ease of implementation and practicality www.rafiusa.org
  6. 6. Benefits of On-Farm Variety Trials for Organic Growers • The vast majority of seed industry and public variety trails are conducted and managed in conventional systems. • Organic producers have system-specific needs that make trails more valuable www.rafiusa.org
  7. 7. Variety trials help manage risk Choosing the right variety for the local climate and field conditions can minimize loss and increase your success • Maximize yields • Minimize crop lost due to pest • Fill key market and production niches • Identify the best organic seed sources www.rafiusa.org
  8. 8. Field Selection •Uniform in slope, drainage, and fertility where the soil type is representative of your farm •Plots shouldn’t border fence line, road, or edge of field to avoid favoring or penalizing one variety over another •Calculate total width of experiment to make sure chosen field is large enough to accommodate experiment www.rafiusa.org
  9. 9. www.rafiusa.org
  10. 10. Plot Design • Randomize and Replicate (This helps account for any differences that may be caused by variation throughout the field.) • We try to have at least three reps of each variety. www.rafiusa.org
  11. 11. Plot Size •Consider the size of your planting and harvesting equipment. •Plots should be slightly larger than your harvesting equipment so a pass can be made through the middle leaving guard rows on either side www.rafiusa.org
  12. 12. Tracking & Collecting Data Decide beforehand what you would like to track and keep accurate records. Soybean: • How competitive they are against weeds • How far up the first set of leaves start making cultivation easier Wheat: • Head height • Lodging www.rafiusa.org
  13. 13. Planting  Clean your drill or planter between varieties  Record your planting date and rate  Take measurements of the plot area.  Don’t rely on the flags being there at the end of the growing season. www.rafiusa.org
  14. 14. Monitoring • Germination date • Stand counts • Date at full canopy (soybeans) • Height at flowering (soybeans) • Pod set (soybeans) • Rate for early expansion/Growth Habit • Height at heading (wheat) • Heading date (wheat) • Lodging www.rafiusa.org
  15. 15. www.rafiusa.org
  16. 16. Harvest  Take exact measurements of the area harvested  Record moisture level for each plot  Record weight of each plot www.rafiusa.org
  17. 17. Results of On-Farm Trials What We’ve Learned so Far www.rafiusa.org
  18. 18. Peanuts • Grew experimental line of organic peanuts at three locations www.rafiusa.org
  19. 19. Corn  Worked with Organic Valley on their variety trials  Two test plots using four varieties of open pollinated corn from Walter Goldstein www.rafiusa.org
  20. 20. Wheat  2013-Tested five varieties, two hard and three soft  2014-Testing five varieties, two hard and three soft www.rafiusa.org
  21. 21. Results: Soft Wheat Varieties Soft Wheat Variety Average Bu/acre Test Weight (lbs/bu) Falling number Protein (%) USG 3251 65.0 63.6 330 10.2% USG 3201 63.1* 64.4 364 10.8% Featherstone 56.2 60.9 312 10.8% *USG 3201 is statistically different from Featherstone at 5%. USG 3251 and USG 3201 are not statistically different. • The wheat trials were planted at three locations. • Plots were planted October 25, 29, 30, 2013. • Harvest dates were June 16, 19, 20 of 2013. • The planting rate was 150 lbs/acre. www.rafiusa.org
  22. 22. Results: Hard Wheat Varieties Hard Wheat Variety Average Bu/acre Test Weight (lbs/bu) Falling Number Protein (%) Tam 303 58.3* 61.3 389 11.2% NuEast 46.9 67.8 467 11.3% *Tam 303 is statistically different from NuEast at 5%. • The hard wheat was only tested at two locations. www.rafiusa.org
  23. 23. Comparing Results NCSU • Featherstone • USG 3251 • USG 3201 RAFI • USG 3251 • USG 3201 • Featherstone www.rafiusa.org
  24. 24. Soybeans  2013- tested five experimental varieties one commercial variety  2014-tested three experimental varieties and five commercial www.rafiusa.org
  25. 25. Soybeans (2013) Variety Bu/acre Bu/acre Bu/acre Average NCC06-929 33.9 33.9 33.8 33.9* NC05-7432 33.5 33.7 33.0 33.4* NCC07-8138 31.9 32.0 32.7 32.2 NCC06-899 32.7 34.2 26.2 31.0 NCC06-579 30.7 33.5 28.1 30.8 Roy 32.5 29.1 30.4 30.7 *Marginally significantly different at 30% from the variety ranked directly below it. All other rankings are not statistically different. • The soybeans were planted on 36 inch rows. Due to the wet weather that year they were not planted until July 23, 2013. Harvest date was November 25th. • The varieties with the letter-number names are still in the NCSU breeding program and not yet available to the public. www.rafiusa.org
  26. 26. Soybeans (2014) Variety Bu/acre Bu/acre Bu/acre Average NCC06-1090 32.7 43.2 38.0 NCC07-8138 37.4 37.4 NCC06-899 35.1 38.2 36.7 Roy 23.0 33.0 37.5 31.2 Woodruff 29.1 26.8 35.6 30.5* N7003CN 27.7 28.4 27.3 27.8* Miller 21.6 25.3 24.1 23.7** Raleigh 16.6 12.7 18.8 16.0** *The Roy, Woodruff, and N7003CN are not significantly different from each other. **The Miller is marginally significantly different at 30% from the top yielding commercial variety and the Raleigh is marginally significantly different at 10% from the top yielding commercial varieties. • Planting date was June 13, 2014. Harvest was January 10, 2015. www.rafiusa.org
  27. 27. Comparing Results NCSU • Roy • NCC06-899 • NCC07-8138 • Woodruff • Miller • Raleigh • N7003CN • NCC06-1090 RAFI • NCC06-1090 • NCC07-8138 • NCC06-899 • Roy • Woodruff • N7003CN • Miller • Raleigh www.rafiusa.org
  28. 28. Additional Resources http://www.organicgrains.ncsu.edu/NCOrganicGrainProject.htm http://rafiusa.org/bopscoalition/ www.rafiusa.org
  29. 29. If you are interested in having an on-farm variety trial please contact: Kelli Dale kelli@rafiusa.org 910-890-3464 www.rafiusa.org

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