Participatory development of an open pollinated early maturating sweet corn for organic production

Ceres Trust 2014 Final Report

Tessa Peters, University of Wisconsin

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Statement of the Problem

The overall goal of this project was to make significant agronomic improvements to an open-pollinated sweet corn population in order to make it available to organic producers. The research started with a population created through participatory plant breeding. From this population, goals for improvement were identified and included:

  1. Improved root structure;
  2. Reduced lodging;
  3. Maintained flavor, texture, and tenderness characteristics.

Using diverse, high quality inbred lines, top-cross populations created. These top-crosses were be evaluated in participatory trials and at the University of Wisconsin Agricultural Research Station in Madison and Arlington, Wisconsin on organic land and on an organic farm in Farmington, Minnesota. The goal of the research is the release of an open pollinated sweet corn variety to fill the requirements of producers early in the market season which is aligned with objective three of the Ceres Trust Organic Research Initiative: help make existing organic farms more productive and profitable.

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