Organic propagation of seed and planting material: an overview of problems and challenges for research

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By 1 January 2004, as a result of EU-regulation 2092/91 for organic farming, the organic sector needs to have developed efficient schemes to be able to use adequate quantities of organically produced seed and planting material. Market problems and agronomic problems that are related to obtaining sufficient quantities of adequate quality are reviewed. For successful production of organic seed and planting material intensive communication between and mutual commitment of farmers, traders, breeders and governmental organizations are necessary. Farmers together with traders should be involved in variety testing and in designing crop ideotypes by identifying the desired cultivar(s) and variety traits. Breeders can contribute by incorporating the desired organic traits in future breeding programmes. In addition, a great effort is needed to develop empirical knowledge and research-based information on adapting and improving cultural practices for organic seed production, developing resistant cultivars for healthy seed production, developing protocols for seed health testing, assessing disease threshold values, and designing organic seed treatments. The EU-regulation should be strictly enforced, no longer allowing derogation of the use of conventional seeds after 2003 for those crops for which diverse, high quality seed or planting material of organic origin is available. It is expected that by 1 January 2004 enough seed or planting material will be available for most crops. But continuous optimizing of organic seed production management will be required to enlarge the cultivar assortment and to control the quality of organic seed and planting material
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-277
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • organic farming
  • seed production
  • propagation materials
  • plant breeding
  • planting stock
  • eu regulations
  • chlorophyll fluorescence

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