Response to Richard
Glenister’s letter Organic
farmers left holding the bag for substandard seed
in response to Jeff Moyer’s column titled
get real, and all commit to using organic seed.
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Posted March 15, 2007: As a consultant in
the organic industry I have to agree with Richard on the status/condition
of the organic seed. I deal with many organic farmers who
have had tremendous problems on their farms with organic seed.
My first question to the suppliers is why they are charging
so much for their seed. My second question is why many companies
in the seed business will not share genetics with us. How
are we to know that the labeled hybrids and varieties are
right for our area?
I was in the seed industry for 28 years. I still am in a
smaller way. The genetics that are being offered to the farmers
are not the best for the regions they farm. Many suppliers
think that organic production is less yielding anyway, so
they offer the same hybrids and varieties they produce in
the area that the home office is located.
I agree that the seed should be organically grown but the
rules need to change to a win-win situation to help the organic
farmer, who is taking the most risk.