Five Oregon organic farms have teamed up with Oregon State University, the University of Wisconsin, Cornell University, the USDA and Organic Seed Alliance to form NOVIC, shaping the future of the organic seed industry.
The $23 million, four-year program studies new seed varieties to improve the availability of organic seeds. Farms across the country are testing organic seeds to find durable crops that will entice companies to make the seeds more readily available.
Organic seeds are hard to find and with a loophole found in the organic certification program, producers are looking for cost-efficient organic seeds to plant.
In the past producers used conventionally-produced seeds to grow organic crops due to the cost and availability. The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) hopes to fix this problem so producers are 100 percent organic.
Farmers across the country are planting organic seeds and reporting back to NOVIC with their findings. With more organic seeds available, officials hope the certification program will change.
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