Help Support Organic Research

Category:

Thank you to the many individuals and organizations that support OFRF. Your generous donations allow us to continue funding innnovative research that helps both new and transitioning organic farmers increase their success.

Reducing GMO Contamination of Organic Corn
An influx of transgenic (GMO) corn varieties since the mid-1990s, like RoundUp Ready corn, have made it increasingly difficult to grow uncontaminated organic corn—or find corn seed that is free of transgene contamination. OFRF provided funding for a breeding project led by Frank Kutka of the Seed We Need Project in Dickinson, North Dakota designed to reduce transgenic contamination of organic corn by maintaining the integrity of organic corn seed. Along with other practices designed to maintain genetic purity of corn varieties, these traits should provide additional insurance against transgene contamination once the seed is planted. These improved lines and populations will readily cross with most field corn in the US.

Open Pollinated, Sugary Enhanced Sweet Corn Varieties
"Top Hat” and “Tuxana” are open-pollinated sweet corn varieties. Oregon farmer, Jonathan Spero, received a four-year research grant from OFRF and Seed Matters. In addition to breeding for enhanced sweetness, Spero worked to make the corn more competitive against weeds, better able to resist insect pests, and tolerant of lower-fertility soils. Spero expects his new varieties of white and yellow sweet corn to see additional improvements in coming years as they are planted in new regions and the seed is saved and replanted by numerous farmers and gardeners.

Organic Seed Key to Healthy Organic Crops
“Who Gets Kissed?” is an open-pollinated sweet corn variety with sweet yellow and white kernels. It yields well, tolerates cool soils, and is resistant to common rust and corn smut. A participatory plant breeding model was used, enabling researchers and farmers to work together to develop varieties that exhibit specific traits identified and selected by the growers. William Tracy at the University of Oregon led the research. Initial funding provided by OFRF and Seed Matters led to a grant from USDA-OREI to continue the project.

________________

OFRF grants have lasting impacts on organic farming knowledge and lives of organic farmers and researchers. Since 1990, OFRF has provided 332 grants, investing more than $3,000,000. All research results are freely availably in our online database.