No. 2 · February

Congress Topic 2, Theme 6

Plant breeding and seed production

After decades of relying on conventionally bred and propagated varieties, the organic sector is more and more aware of the need for better adapted, robust varieties and organically propagated seeds.

For further optimisation of organic product quality and yield stability, new varieties are required adapted not only to organic soil fertility management, but also to organic weed, pest and disease management. These traits are needed for good performance for the production of consumer or feed crops, but also for a healthy seed production.

Because the organic sector is urging for a more closed production chain, currently the most attention goes to the development of adequate quantities of seeds from an appropriate assortment of varieties. Adapting protocols for variety testing and seed health testing are required, including assessing disease threshold values, and designing organic seed treatments.

Also organic plant breeding programmes are being developed. Because of the limited area of organic agriculture different strategies need to be developed to speed up specific breeding programmes for improved varieties.

The following sessions are included in the theme:

  • Four keynote lectures representing the three themes (subplenum)
  • Short workshop presentations on the three themes
  • Poster presentations

The call for contributions concerns the short presentations (10 minutes each) during the workshop session and the poster session.

We welcome contributions on all three themes for different crops:

  • plant breeding: crop ideotypes, variety concepts, breeding strategies
  • seed production: improving cultural practices, variety testing protocols
  • seed pathology: coping with seed borne diseases, disease threshold values, seed treatments

aiming to further develop organic plant breeding and seed production for improved organic crop and food quality!