Mar 7, 2018
Webinar series to provide lessons in on-farm variety trials

Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), and eOrganic will host a two-part webinar series on how to conduct on-farm variety trials.

Seed is a farmer’s first defense in the field, so identifying the best varieties through on-farm trials is an important risk management tool, especially for organic producers who don’t use chemical controls for production challenges, such as disease and pest pressures. Growers rely on varieties that perform well in their local climate and environmental conditions, include important production characteristics (e.g. disease resistance), and meet market demands. 

The goal of the webinar series is to provide horticultural crop and small grain growers with the skills and information necessary to conduct effective on-farm trials, and how to manage risk in crop variety and seed sourcing decisions. These webinars include updated methods for conducting simple on-farm trials, new perspectives from organic certifiers, and an introduction to a new, user-friendly online tool that helps growers manage and evaluate variety trial data.

The webinar series is open to everyone but most appropriate for growers with at least two seasons of production experience. Prior to the webinar, participants are encouraged to review the newly published The Grower’s Guide to Conducting On-farm Variety Trials, which is available for free download at seedalliance.org/all-publications.

Webinar 1: Trial planning, planting, and management

When: March 20, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern (1:00 p.m. Central, 12:00 p.m. Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific)

Where: eOrganic online webinar

Cost: Free of charge

Register: Click here or visit www.seedalliance.org/events

This webinar will introduce farmers to the practice of variety trialing, detailing the reasons for conducting trials and how to plan a trial with a scope, scale, and focus that meet a grower’s needs. This session will also cover seed sourcing and important considerations for planting and managing a trial.

 

Webinar 2: Trial evaluation, analysis, and interpretation

When: April 11, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern (1:00 p.m. Central, 12:00 p.m. Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific)

Where: eOrganic online webinar

Cost: Free of charge

Register: Click here or visit www.seedalliance.org/events

This webinar will focus on record keeping and trial evaluation. Participants will learn how to organize, analyze, and interpret data, including through a new online tool that aids in evaluating and drawing conclusions from information collected through on-farm trials.

These workshops are made possible thanks to a grant awarded through the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA).





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