The US Testing Network (USTN) announced that its non-GMO and organic seed yield trial data is now available online.
USTN was launched in 2009 when a few cutting-edge seed corn retailers and breeders decided it was time to build something they couldn’t find—a yield trial testing network for their non-GMO and organic hybrids. Sarah Carlson of Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) was there and helped to create the USTN, a member-run organization for seed retailers and public and private breeders developing hybrids for the non-GMO and organic seed corn markets. Now encompassing a regional network of more than 40 locations in 11 states, USTN has become the go-to option for small plot yield trials for those previously underserved markets. Since USTN’s inception, PFI has acted as the test coordinator for the trials, with USDA-ARS (Ames, IA) performing the data analysis.
The ultimate goal of USTN is to help make more non-GMO and organic seed corn options available to farmers. Up until 2017, results from the yield trials were shared only among USTN members, primarily because many of the entries tested were experimental and not yet ready for market. In 2017, several testers submitted entries that were ready to be shared with the public. Of the 145 entries in the 2017 trials, 51 are public and the data is now available on PFI’s website. That means farmers can now get a glimpse of the potential of new non-GMO and organic seed corn hybrids.
Source: Practical Farmers of Iowa
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