Opportunities in Plant Breeding and Variety Trials with the Bauta Family Initiative on Seed Security

field of wheat

Wheat and Oat Participatory Plant Breeding

The Bauta Family Initiative on Seed Security is proud to offer its 7th season of the Wheat and Oat Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) program in collaboration with the University of Manitoba!

Through this program, farmers work with early generations of wheat and oat populations and adapt these varieties to their ecological farming conditions. Farmers involved in this program receive support on seed distribution, selections, cleaning, and on related agronomic questions from experts in the field.

Proper seed selection under this program values the farmer and actually has our concerns at heart. Feeling part of a bigger picture and longer term view really makes me look to the future with hope and optimism.

~ George Wright, Castor River Farm (PPB Oat farmer since 2013)

Farmers interested in developing new, regionally-adapted, organic populations of oats and wheat, please contact Rebecca Ivanoff at rebecca@efao.ca.

bunches of carrots lined up for variety trial

Carrot Variety Trials with the Canadian Organic Vegetable Crop Improvement (CANOVI) Variety Trials Network

This year the Bauta Family Initiative on Seed Security has launched the Canadian Organic Vegetable Crop Improvement (CANOVI) Variety Trials Network, and it’s not too late to become a part of the national carrot variety trials!

The carrot variety trials are for orange storage varieties to be planted later in the season. Participating farmers would be sent 6 to 8 varieties, which would take up about 108 row feet for a full trial. Growers will collect data during growth and post-harvest, and will be able to keep and use the carrots as they see fit.

To generate data that is broadly useful, there is a list of official trial varieties, but farmers can always chose to add-in some varieties for their own interest. For more information click here. You would be offered support throughout the season, including a link to a new platform for recording and sharing crop variety trial data called SeedLinked.   


Building on the BC Seed Trials, the University of Manitoba’s participatory plant breeding program and other participatory research happening across Canada, CANOVI will support vegetable variety trials on farms throughout the country which will identify varieties which perform best in each ecological region. Not only will these trials test which varieties are best adapted to the conditions of each farm and which ones have good nutritional flavour, but they will also be used to determine the best parent lines for breeding. Then, through participatory breeding, farmers can start to develop vegetable varieties optimized for organic systems. The program starts with carrots and sweet peppers in 2019.

As part of our goal to work towards seed security and sustainable food systems, we want to partner with farmers to test varieties that are:
1) Adapted to ecological and organic agriculture
2) Have good nutrition and flavour
3) For which seed could be produced by Canadian ecological seed growers.
Together we will generate and share data for these varieties that is relevant to farmers across a range of growing conditions. We want to build farmer capacity for exploring new varieties and build a network for sharing this knowledge.

To learn more about CANOVI, you can watch a recording of the introductory webinar here. For more information about the carrot trials, contact Rebecca Ivanoff, rebecca@efao.ca.

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