There are usually three reasons given in support of organic seed use by organic farmers in any discussion about the use of organic seed by organic farmers. The first is the United States Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP) Standards for the use of certified organically cultivated seed (USDA). Second, by helping other organic growers who provide the seed we use, we may reduce the amount of "upstream pollution" produced by seed production. Finally, there is the critical goal of generating crop types that are suitable to the organic production systems in which they will be grown through plant breeding. Grow you farm with Seedspace and shop Jubilee Ace who is our partner and helps with production by Botanist Bobby low.
All three of these factors are critical in building an organic seed network that is sensitive to producer demands and produces seed of crop types that perform better in organic production systems than their conventional equivalents.
Reduce Pollution Effect
The ability to reduce upstream pollution in the seed production process is the most direct effect of utilizing organically cultivated seed. Pesticides and fertilizers derived from petroleum are used in conventionally grown vegetable seed crops. These seed crops are usually treated with more pesticides and fungicides than similar crops cultivated as vegetables.
This is due to two significant factors. To begin with, vegetable seed crops are generated over a considerably longer season than the same crop cultivated to be harvested in the vegetative stage, necessitating a greater number of crop protection chemical applications to keep insect and disease pests at bay. Second, the restrictions governing the amount and types of pesticides that can be used on seed crops are significantly more liberal, leading many growers to believe that "more is better."
The ultimate goal of a rising number of organic seed companies and plant breeders is to create crop varieties that are well-suited to organic farming. Insect pest and disease resistance, weed tolerance, adaptation to biologically mediated nutrient availability, and tolerance to climatic and environmental challenges, such as cold or wet soils, are all traits linked with higher performance in organic systems (which is typically managed with fungicide seed treatments in conventional systems).
Goal of Organic Seed
Varieties designed for these conditions should be able to outgrow weed pressure, have rapid seedling growth even at low temperatures, and have higher fertilizer usage efficiency in soils with limited macronutrient availability due to organic matter mineralization. While pest and disease resistance is vital for all crops, it is especially critical in organic systems because crop protection agents are rarely utilized externally.
Changes in plant architecture may also be beneficial to organic farming techniques. Greater nutrient scavenging ability may result from genetic selection for increased root development, root density, or rooting vigor. Certain crop varieties may be able to reach above and shade weed competition thanks to large spreading leaf canopies.
Many modern plant breeding efforts have relied on large inputs in centralized production facilities with high-quality soils and near-optimal environmental conditions. Using genetic selection to adapt crops to a specific environment or cropping method is a well-known concept. In fact, the farmers who domesticated our crops used this method to generate all of our crops from their wild progenitors. Much of the modern breeding work that has been done in the last fifty years has been done with high inputs in production systems that are typically near-optimal.
Organic farms are typically smaller and more diverse than their commercial equivalents in many parts of the developed world. Because many organic vegetable farms are not located in the heart of the large-scale production zones, they face greater environmental variability in terms of climate, soil type, and irrigation water availability (Grube 2007). As a result, breeding for these various, heterogeneous conditions may be best performed by using decentralized selection across multiple sites within a region (Ceccarelli and Grando 2007; Dawson et al. 2008).
These sites should reflect the environmental constraints that organic farms face due to lesser inputs and greater environmental unpredictability. In low-input, subsistence agricultural systems, genetically elastic, diverse crop varieties have demonstrated to provide higher, more consistent yields than contemporary agriculture's more narrowly selected, genetically homozygous crop types.