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WP2 – Advancing Organic Cultivar Testing
A strong focus of LIVESEEDING project is on decentralising organic cultivar testing.

In organic farming, with limited or no use of external input, informed cultivar choice is key for successful cultivation and the growth of the organic sector. However, it would be unrealistic to simply replicate the complex (and expensive) trial architectures in place for conventional cultivar evaluation in an organic setting. Therefore, radical innovation in cultivar evaluation is needed to generate and manage a high amount of information while minimizing cost. LIVESEEDING will explore participatory and decentralised on-farm cultivar evaluation methods developed under the H2020- LIVESEED project through a series of pilot case studies covering arable and vegetable crops. Innovative testing designs provide low-cost alternatives to replicated field trials, extensive evidence on crop functional traits and cropping systems improvement, and suitability of OHM, OV and conventional varieties for organic production. Varietal choice is often the major crop-specific decision on a seasonal basis, all other cropping system decisions being more long-term. Cultivar testing is therefore a cornerstone for the growth of the organic sector. The strong focus on-farm testing in LIVESEEDING will lead to increased direct availability of adapted cultivars to organic farmers. The application of this on-farm based methodology will lead to an accelerated uptake and appreciation of adapted organic sees. This will be a basis for the expected mid-term (till 2030) impact of LIVESEEDING in terms of organic seed demand growth in Europe.
Most released cultivars have never been tested under organic farming, therefore their performance is unpredictable. With little external inputs, varietal adaptation to local environment is more critical in organic than in conventional farming. Therefore, extensive cultivar evaluation under real practice conditions is needed.

WP2 will facilitate the uptake of OHM on the market and provide inputs for adjusting DUS and VCU protocols, in the framework of the Commission’s temporary experiment on OV registration. For post-registration cultivar testing, a European interactive platform for on-farm trials based on participatory organic networks across Europe will be implemented.

Main objective of WP2 is to advance low-cost, inclusive, and decentralised cultivar testing approaches dedicated to organic farming.

 

 

T 2.1. Market uptake of Organic Heterogeneous Material
T 2.2. Optimising access to the market of Organic Varieties
T 2.3. Advancing on-farm cultivar evaluation
T 2.4. European interactive platform for cultivar testing
T 2.5. Training on cultivar testing

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