Plant New Crops
Row of research crops
Most seed breeds are developed by private companies. Most seeds are bred for use on conventional farms, and they are designed to be grown with pesticides. Many of these seeds are genetically modified, especially corn and soybeans. As a result, organic farmers have few breeds of plants to choose from. Conditions on organic farms are different, so often those crop breeds don't perform as well there. This puts organic farms at a disadvantage.
This gift will plant one row of research crops on an organic farm. This row will be part of project to develop seed varieties that grow best on organic farms, and that are owned by the public, not corporations. The research project will be led by a coalition of organic farmers, plant breeders, extension agents and researchers. This project will focus on varieties of soybeans, corn, wheat and peanuts for the Southeastern United States. Organic farmers identified a significant lack of suitable varieties of these four crops .