Open Source Plant Breeding Forum

General Category => Plant Breeding => Topic started by: William S. on 2018-11-25, 08:01:11 AM

Title: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2018-11-25, 08:01:11 AM
https://www.yahoo.com/news/federal-climate-report-predicts-least-190224698.html

Lots of news reports out about a new publication on climate change. 3 to 9 degree fairenheit temp increase by 2100.

I've been thinking a lot about things like this since becoming a father recently. My little one will be in his 80's when 2100 hits. I would like him to have regular meals between now and then.

I think Nabhan, Deppe, and Soloman have some answers in their books Growing Food in a Hotter Drier Land, Resilient Gardening, and Growing food in Hard Times.

The Lofthouse modern land race approach may help. As might speed breeding.

From a breeding perspective we can shift genes north from more southerly regions. For instance in the arid Western U.S. Native Seed Search's collection might be a potent source of resilience that we can cross with more northerly vegetable strains to produce new varieties, grexes, and landraces.

One specific example might be to take Painted Mountain corn developed for my area and some similar corns like Papa's Blue derived from it and cross them with similar varieties from Native Seed Search. This might need to be done repeatedly as the climate keeps changing. I intended to start something like this this year with Lofthouse moschata and a native seed search moschata but didn't get it planted early enough and got no fruit. Next year I may try again. Joseph talks about doing landrace maintenance by bringing in new genes at a certain level say 5% perhaps with some isolation to prevent mistakes. Depending on the speed of change the level of gene flow might need to be higher. Though a variable population should be able to adapt for quite awhile without additional input and even narrow genetic based but widely adapted conventional varieties should be good for quite awhile if they are already grown much further south.

From a natural food plants perspective we can shift good edible wild and native plants north. For instance I just planted a few pinyon pines on my land.  Similarly with domestic fruits we perhaps should plant a few warmer climate things. Though I remember Deppe saying something about going with hardier strains zone wise which has always been my mom's advice, fruit trees on the edge of their hardiness seem to do poorly. Still trying new kinds of fruit trees is fun anyway and we may find that the languishing apricot that used to bear only occassionally because of late frosts may suddenly become a better producer.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: rowan on 2018-11-25, 11:24:36 AM
I agree that this is an important issue. I am trying to develop potatoes that will sprout sooner in cooler and wetter conditions so they can be harvested before the need for irrigation in my area. One problem with that is that they will then have to be able to be stored longer. The ones I am having success with as far as growing faster in cooler conditions are diploids which don't store long enough to make it to the next growing season.
At least if the farmers get one crop before irrigating and then have plenty of time to put in at least one more irrigated crop they have saves some water and cost.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Carol Deppe on 2018-11-25, 12:48:00 PM
People assume "global warming" means their garden or farm will be warmer. Not necessarily. Climate change is probably most important to us plant breeders because it involves changes in wind and ocean current patterns that can give us abnormal erratic unpredictable weather and more extreme weather events. The average planet temperature going up or down by a fraction of a degree per decade is not the problem.

And water matters as much as temperature. The Little Ice Age started with a string of five years with more rain in Europe making the land too wet to plant in spring, and more storms that caused ripening grain to lodge and rot. The result was massive famines and then plagues. Winters were colder too, but that wasn't really the problem. It took a couple hundred years and complete transformation  and diversification of agriculture  on many levels to adapt  to the Little Ice Age. To assume that what you need in  the future is plants more  adapted to heat is a misunderstanding. Here in the NW, for example, changes in wind patterns could mean we get our weather from Canada instead of the Pacific ocean. In other words, continental, not maritime weather. That would mean fruit trees with more cold hardiness, not less cold hardiness in the past. We occasionally already get winter blasts from Canada that drop temperatures into single digits. Just a bit more extreme would wipe out many of our fruit trees. Including anything more south adapted. The rootstock needs to be adaptable to greater extrenes in both directions. But we can more easily afford to experiment with grafted branches, including varieties that need more heat than we now have. If they don't ripen, we just lose the fruit from one branch.

The last prolonged period of global warming was characterized by decade-long droughts in the maritime NW. (Tree ring data) One recent year a high pressure area sat over Oregon most of the winter, causing the winds that usually come from the Pacific to split and instead go to California and Washington. They got "our" winter rains and horrific flooding. We got a winter drought instead of our winter rainy season. I put an entire chapter on gardening in an era of wild weather and climatic change in The ResilientGardener

One major approach is to focus on short season crops to allow replanting or avoid late season disasters. Thus my short season corns. And Eat-All greens ready to harvest in 8 weeks. Another is to grow potatoes. Generally they are affected by weather the opposite of the grains. Dry fruit and root crops and livestock and forage may be part of the picture. And crops with wide adaptations are especially valuable. And overall diversification is paramount, especially for the main staples you are depending on for most of your calories and protein.


Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Nicholas Locke on 2018-11-25, 02:51:48 PM
I think the mere act of saving ones own seeds year to year will give a pretty good resilience to these changes. More so using the Lofthouse Landrace approach. By delaying, planting early, not watering, watering to much, to push things out of their comfort zone you can add a more "erratic" weather adaption to them.  come to think of it thats pretty much how things happen for me anyway...  :o   
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2018-11-25, 06:17:41 PM
The biggest thing I'm counting on is short season maturity so I can harvest something during the hospitable periods between extremes. Planting early worked pretty good for last several years but last two my early plantings were destroyed by late cold snaps. Potatoes practically ready to bloom turned to mush by one or two night in the teens and too late to replant. Potatoes and peas are rapidly dropping off my list of things to grow unless I can do it in the fall instead of spring. It gets hot early now, beautiful clumps of daffodils burned to crisps in a single 90 degree afternoon with Santa Anna like winds, in March. Still snaps as cold or colder than it ever got for the time can't be ruled out. Native trees in bloom or fully leafed out frozen back to bare branches. Same with grapes loaded with tiny fruits, most of the vines flat out killed.

Fall seems more reliably late, it's almost December and we have not had a real hard freeze. Lots of greens, lettuce, mustard, chard, perennial onions and garlic, volunteer dill, carrots all doing pretty well right now.  We will have good fresh salads till it finally does freeze hard and that might not be till January.

Short season though, like I said is where it's at for me. For staples that can be easily stored, seed to harvest in 100 days or less for corn, squash, sweet potatoes and dry pole beans.  I want to add barley and oats but have had poor luck with them, some kind of fungus or something in the seed heads.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2018-12-01, 06:37:40 AM
Binge reading Carol Deppe's books. Finished Tao, and picked up a used copy of Resilient. Reread the chapter on Wild Weather (checked it out from the library in 2012).

Particularly with tomatoes I've been trying direct seeding the last two years. It worked surprisingly well for me, but that could change. Direct seeding seems to me like something that could increase resilence. I worried it might be being bred out of tomatoes. Now I am almost certain it has not been, and I think we would probably need to raise tomatoes by transplant for many many more generations before tomatoes incapable of being direct seeded in the right conditions dissapeared. My thought with direct seeding tomatoes here is to use very short season varieties and to do one sowing 20 days before the date of expected last frost (may 15th here, and a second sowing on the date of expected last frost. A year with a dry spring could make this untenable, but the last two years I was able to do this without watering for some time.

To me I've been thinking that a super short season direct seeded dry farmed tomato might be the ultimate tomato for resilience. However some of these things might counter one another. Some of the shortest season tomatoes are determinate or even determinate dwarfs. A larger plant has some advantages for dry farming.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2018-12-01, 07:39:19 AM
I don't know if my experience is of much value because of our climates being so different but tomato volunteers are extremely common in my garden. I most often do not keep them because if they were left to rot in the garden it is probably cause we din't like them for some reason. I got more interested in them recently because sometimes they sprout while it is still cold and some seedlings have survived frost. 

I haven't done much as far as direct seeding in spring as in doing it in the specific spot where they will grow but I start my tomatoes in cold frames. I used to prepare the bed in the frame and direct seed in the ground and literally pull the plants to transplant. I still pull to transplant but have started using large partially buried pots cause it is easier to keep the varieties identified that way.

I was thinking this year I might try direct seeding by preparing a row, planting a lot of seed and covering with plastic. Basically the same as I have always done except the cold frame would be long and skinny, and instead of puling and replanting I would just thin. Maybe do the same thing only with out the plastic to see difference in sprouting and maturing time.

As far as dry farming, for the most part that has always been the norm for me. It used to work fine but in recent years it has become a problem. I'v debated with myself on whether I should upgrade my ability to water or if I should try to let my crops adapt, so far I'v mostly done the latter. For better or worse I think that is what I will stick with because it is easier, cheaper and I think IF but ONLY IF, for reasons below, diversity is high enough it has the best chance of succeeding.

I don't know that we get any less rain on average than we ever did in my memory but seems like now instead of a nice rain weekly or so we get a huge rain one day and none again for weeks. Four or six weeks of hot 90 F sunshine can really have and effect but some stuff does still produce, I guess because there is still residual moisture down deep. I figure watering might be counter productive in keeping root growth near the surface so if you do it once you can't stop.  Breeding specifically for that though won't work because in last few years we have also starting having weird cloudy wet periods in summer. 2015 I think it was it went from the hot dry in July to highs in the 70s and rain nearly every day in August. Climate change ins't "it was one way, now it's another" because it is still in progress.  So, I think breeding too specifically for a particular set of conditions  in my garden would be a mistake. I'm going to try to accumulate maximum diversity and not cull something just because it failed in one season cause it might be the only one to thrive in the next.

I do consider short season maturity the most powerful tool for increasing chances of a successful harvest because the weather within a particular season can change so dramatically from week to week or even day to day.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Doro on 2018-12-01, 11:28:21 AM
Climate change worries me a lot and I have no idea how to prepare for it in my area. It's getting colder or hotter depending on the year and it's not predictable what it's going to be until after planting.
Just 10 years ago we could count on last frost mid May, first frost mid August and in the time between frequent rain at least once a week. I grew anything in sand soil without ever needing to water. Summer days were 15-25C and nights around 10C. Perfect conditions for roots and tubers, brassicas or peas, all the cool weather crops did great.
In recent years we either got even colder summers with endless rain and temperatures hardly ever climbing above 20C or hotter summers with absolutely no rain and over 30C for months. We already got a lot of 25-30C days in the beginning of May. Winter and then dry summer, spring was missing this year.
I've been watching lupine flowers the past years, which are a good indicator for the weather here. They used to be perfect in time for midsummer decorations. 2018 they were done flowering 3 weeks before midsummer, 2017 they just started flowering 2 weeks after midsummer. 5 weeks difference in growth is a quite worrying range. I'm not sure if any crop can be diverse enough to really thrive in both extremes.
2017 we had frost in june and a lot of flooding. 2018 we had forrest fires, drinking water saving restrictions and wet areas falling dry which had never been dry before. Now in november they just reached normal levels again. Farmers had to drastically reduce their stock in summer already because no grass was growing and feed would not last through winter.
My attempt to deal with these unpredictable extremes is to widen the range of things I grow. Growing cool season crops and warm season crops. The potatoes, peas and cabbage suffered, radish and salad bolted, the broad beans just keeled over and wilted. But I got great tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, eggplants and tomatillos. 2017 was the opposite.
Will see what 2019 brings. I hope not another heatwave ;) I like my potatoes.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Richard Watson on 2018-12-01, 12:24:35 PM
This country would be the most maritime influenced climate on the planet and that we sit on the edge of the 'roaring 40's meaning regardless of what direction the wind flows are coming from they are always coming off ocean waters. How will a rapidly changing climate effect our weather long term?, i believe it will be so different to what you continental's will have to deal with, a warming ocean should mean greater evaporation = higher rainfalls?, though the last 20 years of readings show we are getting drier, now below 500mm 19". There's just not enough certainty on what the changes will be in the future, to say i'm going to select for 'this or select for that', just dont know. For me turning over the generations as quickly as i can should be the best way to achieve adaptation of my seed lines to what ever climate change brings, deal with it when it comes.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2018-12-01, 12:51:24 PM
Greater year to year variability is what Carol writes about in her wild weather chapter and that seems to be the case here as well. I wonder if the solution is not just our own breeding but also in increasing our germ plasm exchange rates. That in effect we need less locally adapted stuff because we never know what climate we will have in a given year. Trading seed gives us access to seed adapted to a variety of climates. Trading can include just buying- that's a form of trade, as is gifting.

Or we could grow our own seed but use our climatic variation to keep the diversity high. Say we have a good selection year and get seed back from only 10% of a seed crop. That seed crop just got pushed in whichever direction that wild year was. Perhaps we should grow seed crops of a variable population. Then freeze them with labels, then use that seed just a bit at a time. Some years we would get good selection for various extremes, others we might get an abundant harvest.

We can also spread our risk by planting lots of varieties. These don't need to be pure varieties. Instead of planting one kind of corn we might plant six, each adapted to a different extreme.

Carol talks about spreading risk by growing multiple very different species like potatoes AND corn. Joseph talks a good bit about growing as many squash species as possible.

I collect and grow lots of short season varieties that are shorter season than I really need them to be, that means I have growing season days to spare, which sometimes means I would still get a crop even in say a bad tomato year.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2018-12-01, 09:29:22 PM
I attribute some of the success of my plant breeding to the variability of weather from year to year. Especially on varieties which are way outside of their native range in my garden, and which failed as a species, year after year, until a summer came along that was more to their liking. But then, once they had reproduced successfully the first time, then succeeding generations did better.

Specific species that I am thinking of in my garden are runner beans, argyrosperma squash, and lagenaria gourds. They grow reliably now, but I did a lot of failed plantings before something finally took.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Carol Deppe on 2018-12-01, 11:22:20 PM
Joseph, when you are growing stuff you know is outside it's comfort zone, do you direct seed, or start it in a greenhouse?

I'm suspicious that some, maybe most of what we experience when we adapt varieties to our region is epigenetic rather than genetic change. I speculate that most plants have a basic adaptation that is fairly wide, but this adaption is narrowed and optimized for any specific environment by heritable epigenetic modifications. Essentially a program on top of a program. I speculate that what gets you from one epigenetic subprogram to another is a serious shock of some sort. Heat shock, cold shock, etc. Something extreme enough to make the plant stop growing for a while but not so extreme it kills the plant. Maybe the nature of the shock induces a specific change to the correct alternate epigenetic program. Or maybe it just causes the plant to try a different one of it's epigenetic programs at random, with some plants hitting the right one.

If something like this is going on, Joseph's transition year might be the year that causes enough of a shock to trigger change in epigenetic program but not so much it kills unaltered plant first.

So if all this speculation was actually truth, we might be able, for example to get a tomato variety to become more freeze-hardy by subjecting seedlings to cold shocks and then saving seeds. Shades of Lysenko. However not for the reasons he supposed. No inheritance of acquired characters. Just an environment induced epigenetuc program change.

This is all speculation. I set it out because it we can test these ideas. And they have a whole lot of plant breeding implications.

A little later after a couple hrs reading about plant epigenetics on internet. Lots of people have approximately same ideas as outlined above, with much work on biochem of epigenetic changes on DNA. And there is much enthusiasm for potential in plant breeding. And much work happening attempting to get plants to produce "epilleles".. However there seems to not be a single variety developed based upon an epigenetic change yet. 
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Doro on 2018-12-02, 03:46:37 AM
I have seen this happen in some of my varieties, but not in all of them.
For example pepper plants and eggplants and their light requirements. I do not like to waste electricity on lighting when starting seedlings early, they get some low watt LED help the first weeks and then they have to grow with whatever dim and short winter daylight we have. The first years they are usually very leggy and grow very slow, but after about 4 years of saving seed from a variety they seem to adapt to the conditions and grow better. At least some of them. With just a little selection help by me, I sow twice the amount I need and just keep the best 50% of the seedlings. When trading seeds with people who use heavy artificial lights on their peppers it's usually a leggy disaster for me and they get squat ground cover plants out of my seeds the first years.
Other examples are short day tuberizing potatoes, they should not tuberize good in long day summers ending early. And usually the first years harvests are no good. But if I continue to grow them for some years the harvest sometimes gets better. Still not a great harvest but at least enough to eat some and keep growing them.
For cold hardiness in tomatoes I noticed that they start flowering earlier and ripening earlier after just a few generations. All I do is saving seed from the first ripe fruit per variety. In the beginning I had two varieties always beating all other varieties in setting fruit in early spring and ripening first. A couple of years later most of my must have varieties that I grow every year flower at the same early time. Misshaped fruit because of cold weather, I think it is called catface? in English, is getting less too.
I do not test for frost hardiness because if I loose the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers or eggplants, there is no time to start over. But spring nights in my greenhouse get down to 3C before the emergency heater is starting.
The hot and dry weather events have not been frequent enough to observe changes there.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2018-12-02, 09:19:28 AM
There has been a lot of discussion about epigenetic change in Tomatoes over on the homegrown goodness forum and possibly another forum like tomatoville especially in regards to Darrel Jones initiated cold/frost tolerant tomato breeding project, Josephs trays full of frosted seedlings, some Russian tomatoes, and the wild tomato species with better cold and frost tolerance.

In 2018 I got no spring frosts after planting tomatoes. However in 2017 I got two frosts after transplanting at least the latter of which impacted much of my direct seeding experiment as well. Most plants that were frosted twice died. Most plants frosted once survived by resprouting from the base. One Peruvianum complex plant survived both frosts with top growth intact. Habrochaites survived by resprouting.

I included some of the Russian genetic strains in this. They did not impress particularly if they had resistance I think it must have been epigenetic and inactive in 2017. It's possible that the shock of being frozen once or twice may have activated some epigenetics.

A few rare plants planted between the two frosts survived with top growth intact despite every plant surrounding them succombing. These results were pretty nonsensical. For instance one Blue Gold plant a Brad Gates variety not chosen for frost tolerance survived with top growth intact while many many frost or cold hardy strains succombed and every other Blue Gold individual. However the frozen to the ground plants resprouted and did set fruit as well.

I also learned that most inch high tomatoes direct seeded survived.

I also direct seeded more tomatoes the next day. Ultimately I had too many tomatoes in 2017.

I am pretty willing to flirt with that last spring frost or two because I now know I can reseed immediately, that most tomatoes will survive being top killed once, and if there are epigenetics at play they may be being activated, and soil moisture is great I can transplant without watering anything but the flats or direct seed without watering, which means I may not need to water until July.

In 2017 my fall killing frosts weren't very telling. A single big very hard fall frost killed everything. 2018 I had weaker fall frosts and they took out domestic tomatoes first then wild tomatoes like Peruvianum complex and habrochaites lived longer both from top growth and resprouting. Though even domestics were sometimes killed in layers.

It would be interesting to have a bit of an experimental facility to test and play with both epigenetic and genetic cold and frost tolerance in tomatoes. A dedicated refrigerator would work for cold tolerance- Darrel Jones suggested that a refrigerator test would quickly separate strains there by turning non-cold tolerant strains to mush. However freezing is trickier. It would be nice to be able to freeze tomato plants under controlled conditions. Darrel also explained go us that the moisture with the frosts is important- leaf dry vs. Leaf Wet frosts.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Andrew Barney on 2018-12-02, 09:54:30 AM
I think epigenetics has a bigger role to play than people think,  and perhaps in extreme cases can increase the rate of mutation in the genetics portion in order to adapt and survive.

But a good poor example of this phenomenon for me would be the blacktail mountain watermelon variety. Despite being bred in Idaho for short northern conditions it has never done well for me here in a similar enough climate. I attribute this to loosing its epigenetic advantage by being grown and sold from farms in Missouri and the deep south. Watermelons bred for the north should only be grown in the north. If I ever develop my own variety I will put such a notice on it specifically as the watermelon storage facility for GRIN is located in Georgia.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Doro on 2018-12-02, 10:15:07 AM
Now you're giving me ideas William ;D the husband will not like a tray of plants in the fridge hahaha but now I'm curious. I will do some controlled refrigerator tests in March when I start my seedlings. That's still early enough to restart more plants if it goes bad.
I grow quite some varieties from Russia, results should be interesting.
Here direct seeded or volunteer seeds start to grow in the greenhouse way after average spring frost. They normally show up late May or June for me. Which makes them too late to produce ripe fruit here. I tried, but that's not happening yet here.
I used to grow different wild tomatoes and did experimental crosses with them. But I was not too happy with them actually. They did not seem more cold hardy to me than the other varieties I grow. And the fruit size made them awfully timeconsuming to pick. Breeding back to a at least somewhat useful fruit size was not a speedy process and I discarded the experiments in the F4 I think. Focusing mostly on beefstake, just grow a few salad types.

Andrew, I have another good poor example for a variety loosing its hardiness because of seedgrowers taking it to a warm climate. The pepper King of the North. Seeds from Spain or Greece.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2018-12-02, 01:53:38 PM

When I plant things that are way outside their comfort zone, I occasionally try starting them in the greenhouse. These days, I'm tending to favor direct seeding of most things. Then I just gamble with them until some variety or other succeeds in some year or other.

Because I encourage promiscuity in everything I grow, it would be really hard for me to determine if differences in plant growth are due to epigenetics. And I don't have the patience to do the experiments that might attempt to answer those sorts of questions... And even then, how would I differentiate epigenetics from other factors that might influence growth, such as (possibly synergetic) associations with bacteria, fungi, or viri. A friend suggested that I might want to offer a sample of my garden soil with each packet of tomato seeds. To make it easier to transfer the associated microbiology.

With seed bearing plants, epigenetic program transformations might also occur inside seeds that are still in the plants. For example, when I grow okra, I typically harvest the seed pods way after the beginning of frosty weather. Wondering if the seeds are being epigentically conditioned for better growth in cold weather?
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2018-12-02, 10:07:30 PM
It strikes me that a lot of our projects tend to be adaptation projects which seems thread worthy in its own right.

It also strikes me that stress tolerance in crops is useful and multi purpose. When Bill McDorman moved to Arizona he found his high elevation varieties did well in the desert too. So both short seasonality AND stress tolerance might be generally useful for climate change.

In general I feel like being as mean as possible to the plants might be useful. If 90% fail to set seed that might mean something useful is happening genetically or epigenetically.

Like with tomatoes. I find myself wanting to drive them to the edge of their tolerances by depriving them of water, frost protection, season length, and care. How much abuse can they take? I feel like I am learning more by torturing tomatoes. This year I planted close to a dozen plants each of hab x domestic and pennellii x domestic and only got seed back from one each. That could be the perfect amount of being mean to them if it means next year's plants are somehow improved. 
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2018-12-03, 12:08:20 AM
...In general I feel like being as mean as possible to the plants might be useful. If 90% fail to set seed that might mean something useful is happening genetically or epigenetically...

I'v been growing "survivor" pole beans for a few seasons. I take every kind I have and sow them in a 3' x 50' bed and walk away. Lots generally come up but they are overcrowded, then the weeds move it. Then it gets hot and dry, or cool and damp, whatever.  Total harvest of all years mixed together is about a quart. I haven't replanted any survivors yet, each year I start over with as many new kinds as I can and I always include any off-types that show up in my other beans. One thing I wish I had done and will start this coming year is saving the earlier ones separately.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Diane Whitehead on 2018-12-03, 09:53:23 AM
No poles?  Just a total tangle, all grown together?
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2018-12-03, 11:15:57 AM
No poles?  Just a total tangle, all grown together?
This past year I pitched some rusty unused tomato cages in the mess but they landed on their sides and were only maybe a foot above the ground.  Whatever fights it way to dominance early on and finds its way above the grasses and and other weeds and makes a few seeds gets it's genetics saved.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2018-12-03, 02:07:56 PM
Reed: I grow beans in approximately the same way. I plant in rows, spaced just wider than my tiller. I might run the tiller through the patch once or at most twice. But I tend to not weed within the rows. So when I harvest, the weeds are 3 feet tall, and the beans are surrounded. Survival Beans might be better as pole beans than as bush beans. Nevertheless the bush beans are holding their own against the weeds.

Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2018-12-03, 03:55:27 PM
I love that picture of Joseph's beans, had to look hard to see a bean leaf. At least with pole types a bean leaf occasionally makes it to the top.

I don't use a tiller, I roughly and shallowly chop up the area with my peasant hoe. I make sure to dig out any large established perennial grasses but I just leave everything there. I use my other very sharp hoe to clear paths on both sides and scrape that up and toss it on top. Then I scatter the seeds and finish up with a rake.

Most seeds come up and it's a solid mass of beans but then the weeds reestablish and the beans mostly seem to disappear. Later on as if by magic some of them are still there, and blooming! It's great fun to see what kinds I get when they dry but colors, shapes and sizes are never as diverse as what I planted.

I figure there are may be other random, non-genetic things at work in deciding what matures seed and what doesn't. Maybe this one found a particular tall, sturdy weed to grab onto or that one had it's early competition taken out by a rabbit. Still, with competition for nutrients, water and sunshine I imagine genetics does play some part.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Woody Gardener on 2018-12-15, 06:34:54 PM
I'm another cruel gardener. I call it 'tough love gardening'.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Walt on 2018-12-17, 02:19:48 PM
A corn breeder at Kansas State U said that in the early days of hybrid corn, many inbreds came from KSU.  This in spite of other universities spending more and having more breeders working on it.
His belief was that it was because Kansas breeders were trialing their inbreds around the state and thus testing them in more climates that, say, an Iowa breeder triling around Iowa, which has a somewhat more uniform climate around the state.  While most of us aren't working with inbreds, trialing in different climates is still useful.
And CIMMYT in Mexico was growing spring barley in the winter in the muggy humid lowlands for one generation, then in the cooler, dryier uplands, getting 2 generations per year.  They ended up with a population that did pretty well anywhere in the world where it has been tried.  Growing it a few years in the new place made it even better.
Barley breeders at the time raised concerns about using one population throughout the world.  Good for them.  But again, this could be done with various grains, several populations each.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2018-12-17, 04:23:33 PM
A corn breeder at Kansas State U said that in the early days of hybrid corn, many inbreds came from KSU.  This in spite of other universities spending more and having more breeders working on it.
His belief was that it was because Kansas breeders were trialing their inbreds around the state and thus testing them in more climates that, say, an Iowa breeder triling around Iowa, which has a somewhat more uniform climate around the state....

When I first got serious about this seed saving / breeding and started doing research I remember I came across paper from the early 1900's the 1920's if I remember right. I think it was in the early days of hybridization but one sentence and I'll paraphrase here "no variety of corn performs the same in one place as it does in another".

One sentence, in all those hundreds of pages stood out and made sense to me and it still does and logically and by my own observation if it applies to corn it applies to everything.  That's why I don't believe much of anything about how something, grows, produces, tastes, what it tolerates or thrives on. Not that I think the sellers are necessarily trying to lie, it might be true when grown in their fields and it might be true in mine but more often not.

The first and most important thing to me is if it grows in my garden, I'll worry about other stuff later. That's why I'm done pretty much done with trialing varieties, don't have time for it.  I need diversity, mixes, grexes, landraces.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2018-12-17, 04:42:45 PM

The first and most important thing to me is if it grows in my garden, I'll worry about other stuff later. That's why I'm done pretty much done with trialing varieties, don't have time for it.  I need diversity, mixes, grexes, landraces.

With tomatoes I've found the mixes, grexes, segregating populations,, landraces AND varieties to be useful for different reasons. Varieties for finding very particular traits and the various mixes for exploring a lot of variation. Though most of the true variation is in the wild species with that bunch.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2019-12-15, 12:25:37 PM
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191209112147.htm

Article about climate change weather patterns and future drought.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Lauren on 2019-12-15, 06:25:54 PM
In general I feel like being as mean as possible to the plants might be useful. If 90% fail to set seed that might mean something useful is happening genetically or epigenetically.
I call it casual neglect. I will admit that the first year or two with a new plant I'm careful because my goal is to get enough seeds that are adapted, but after that it's pretty much SOTF.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2019-12-24, 09:16:02 PM
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/24/vegetables-vegan-organic-agriculture-farming

Article about Will Bonsall and Veganic. Makes some big claims. 75% less farmland needed?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

The 75% claim links to the above.

Interesting, though I may not agree entirely with this line of thinking.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Andrew Barney on 2019-12-25, 06:23:57 AM
Curious as to what you dont agree with?

It all seems pretty straight forward to me. Fresh water use and greenhouse gas emissions alone seem to suggest that reliance on large animal sources as food are unsustainable long term at worst and terribly inefficient at best. Though land usage and increasing deforestation for animal farm use is something I haven't thought about,  but makes total sense.

EDIT: by large animal sources im mostly thinking beef, dairy,  and chicken at large industrial scales.

I've been eating a lot of meat lately,  but to be quite honest i don't like it all that much,  and my preferred diet is high in fruits and low in meat. So I totally would be perfectly happy to switch to total vegetarian or vegan in a heart beat. Finding a suitable replacement for cheese, yogurt, and cream cheese however might prove challenging. But it seems I am becoming more and more lactose intolerant all the time anyway.

The vegan thing with not wanting animal inputs for vegetables is an extreme stance,  though interesting in a way. I think that may be a little extreme, though I think green manure might be a better alternative for other reasons,  but I'm still learning and thinking about better ways green manure can be used to increase efficiency.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2019-12-25, 06:33:35 AM
Well, I'm not vegetarian. Let alone vegan.

Note: Bison taste good. So we could turn rangeland back over to them and still eat some Bison meat.

Note: I bet I could grow all my families food and food for 6 hens, some meat chickens, and two small dairy goats on the historically plowed 3 1/4 acres of my 8 acre parcel.  So even if I grew all my own food like Will Bonsall something I would like to do, I think I'm still going to have some dairy, eggs, and meat in my diet. Though maybe not as much.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Lauren on 2019-12-25, 07:13:36 AM
There's no supporting information in the article about this claim. However, I'm guessing that the 75% is based on the amount of agricultural land currently used for meat production. These articles take into account greenhouse gas (we'll leave that one for the moment) and area of agricultural land use. This theory does not take into account a number of things, but here are two to consider:

1) The amount of additional food that would need to be grown in order to make up the difference. Meat is much higher in nutrients, fat and calories than most vegetable forms of food. Even if we were able to put that 75% into other food production our calorie production would fall drastically. Much more land would have to be devoted to oil production alone, because humans need oils and fats to live. At an average 10/1 ratio (assuming ten pounds of seed to 1 pound of oil--it ranges between 5 and 50 to 1) this greatly increases the necessary space.

2) Much of the land currently used for animal production cannot be used for vegetable production. Soils and water just aren't suitable. A well that can take care of cattle wouldn't touch the needs of a comparable (calorie) production market garden. Soil that supports prairie grasses would likely be entirely unsuitable for grains. Animals can thrive where vegetables or grains would not. If we assume half of the land currently used for meat is suitable for crop production, that's still a huge drop in actual production.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Richard Watson on 2019-12-25, 11:29:04 AM
Agree entirely Lauren. Something else to consider as well, how much land does it take to produce each kg of meat protein?, I dont have the figures but I would assume that pork production would require a lot more land than for say meat rabbits.

I often wonder too, where do these 'veganic' drew the line in the sand in what terms of what is derived from an animal and what is not, sure, they dont use remnant manure but they cant guarantee there produce hasnt been produced off soil that's rodent or bird shit free, then take into account the major role insects play in making new soil. Its totally impossible to produce 100% vegan food.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Lauren on 2019-12-25, 01:18:53 PM
Or pollinated by bees, or worms in the soil. When they say "This is the way nature works" they're talking about a tiny percentage of the whole system.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2019-12-25, 02:29:27 PM
Well, there is a smidgen more of a backstory to it. Both Will Bonsall and John Jeavons have written pretty good gardening books that explain their thinking in regards to worms and bird and deer poo.

Also in regards to 75% claim in article I linked, references are hyperlinked. Leads back here to a scientific paper here:

http://josephpoore.com/Science%20360%206392%20987%20-%20Accepted%20Manuscript.pdf

I think the middle ground between Veganic for everyone vs
 producing 60% more food by 2050 might just be eating less feedlot fed cows and cow milk and factory farmed chicken, eggs, and pork. Growing corn to feed cows, pigs, chickens, and gas tanks might not be the best use of soils.

One thought on bad soil. I would rate my own eight acre parcel as perhaps not suitable for vegetable growing. Its got 7 inches of topsoil over 7 inches of clay accumulation, over lake bed sediments. It was formerly used for beef production, irrigation was once attempted. The flatter porion was plowed and replanted with aggressive non-native grasses.

However, I could add 6 inches of sand to two acres of it for about $20,000 so assuming I had enough money to spend $20,000 on a car and chose to buy sand instead I could greatly change my soil structure and soil depth instead. Of course if everyone wanted to spend that kind of money on their soil we wouldn't have enough sand at that price. However, there are multiple ways to solve a problem, another might be growing a carbon crop and burning it to make charcoal. Then double digging and incorporating the char into the clay accumulation layer of the soil profile. Doubt I will do this, at least not quickly, but I would rather have better soil than a newish car.

Likewise it's pretty silly to destroy productive soils for buildings.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Richard Watson on 2019-12-25, 02:36:58 PM
Without have to hunt down those books what was there take on it William.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2019-12-25, 03:09:35 PM
Well, Will Bonsall makes sense when he says he figures it's just plain old less work to grow food for his family then for his family and a bunch of livestock. He doesn't worry about the deer and bird and worm poop. He just figures on using most of his acreage as a wildlife preserve. He also doesn't market gaeden. Keeps the nutrients in place.

John Jeavons reckons we all need a way to maximize food production. He figures with double dug beds we can grow lots of food organically for lots of people. Reckons less of a fuss that way. Also says how to do it without animals. Pretty sure that's space conservation. Animals need room.

Incidentally lots of indigenous people have been growing food since time immemorial without livestock. Why feed an acorn to a pig when you can eat it yourself? Why chain a pinon forest at a negative ROI to feed cows when Pinon nuts are good eating? Why turn a Camas meadow into a hayfield?

Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2019-12-25, 04:41:51 PM
I admit I'm not even close to figuring out the growing of animal feed locally.
I know that I can expect lower growth rate and lower yields if I excluded animal ferts.  Chemicals are not an option for me, which are technically 'vegan'.  So as of now, I'm really not comfortable with excluding farm animals from the equation.
I read this recently:
http://theconversation.com/the-dark-side-of-plant-based-food-its-more-about-money-than-you-may-think-127272 (http://theconversation.com/the-dark-side-of-plant-based-food-its-more-about-money-than-you-may-think-127272)
which makes some interesting points about the commercial, conventional production of vegan 'meat alternatives' and how profitable that can be on a massive scale of chemical agriculture.
I'm more interested in the '4 per mille' initiative, to sequester carbon in agricultural soil.  This does not exclude manures or animal products but also has the potential to make a carbon negative footprint.   Still more to learn about it, and how to implement and achieve the goal.
https://www.4p1000.org/ (https://www.4p1000.org/)
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Richard Watson on 2019-12-25, 08:10:24 PM
Ive not used any animal ferts for 17-18 years Steph, Ive certainly not sacrificed not using any with reduced growth rate and lower yields, high carbon compost and plenty of legume crops and I still maintain good production.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Lauren on 2019-12-25, 09:15:43 PM
So the article cited isn't just about animals themselves--it's taking into account the amount of land used for the animals feed, transportation of that feed, and does state that 65% of the land used for animals (ruminants specifically) is unsuitable for growing crops. I can't find anything about 75% reduction in land use, so if someone has seen this article and found that information please tell me where it is.

"To identify solutions that are effective under this heterogeneity, we consolidated data covering five environmental indicators; 38,700 farms; and 1600 processors, packaging types, and retailers."
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2019-12-25, 10:13:21 PM
Ive not used any animal ferts for 17-18 years Steph, Ive certainly not sacrificed not using any with reduced growth rate and lower yields, high carbon compost and plenty of legume crops and I still maintain good production.

Though you do have those super cool edible beetle larvae that compost whole trees....
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2019-12-26, 06:42:06 AM
Ive not used any animal ferts for 17-18 years Steph, Ive certainly not sacrificed not using any with reduced growth rate and lower yields, high carbon compost and plenty of legume crops and I still maintain good production.
Richard, that's good to know!   One thing for sure, I have more to learn about the alternatives. 
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Lauren on 2019-12-26, 09:42:30 AM
I think I see what they did in the articles mentioned. They did specify in the study that 85% of our ag land is used for animals, and also that 65% of that can't be used by other crops. So if we got rid of animal agriculture our usable land would immediately drop by 65%. If you add in land (not specified) that can't really be used for anything except their feed, the total would probably drop by 75%, leaving us only 25% of the former farmland. I don't see a net gain here.

The articles that used this as a source suggested that we would no longer need that 75%. The assumption in these numbers is that without animal agriculture our food needs would DROP rather than rise.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Richard Watson on 2019-12-26, 10:05:51 AM
Though you do have those super cool edible beetle larvae that compost whole trees....
True. Though some people dont think they are so cool, the beetle flies at night so they have been known to freak the odd person out when they crash into ya.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Andrew Barney on 2019-12-26, 11:15:28 AM
Growing corn to feed cows, pigs, chickens, and gas tanks might not be the best use of soils.

This is also a big thing to think about. A great portion of corn is grown for animal feed and/or ethanol which is not the best idea in my opinion. I guess mash left over from ethanol production can still be used for animal feed, so that might help,  but not much.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Andrew Barney on 2019-12-26, 11:28:03 AM

1) The amount of additional food that would need to be grown in order to make up the difference. Meat is much higher in nutrients, fat and calories than most vegetable forms of food. Even if we were able to put that 75% into other food production our calorie production would fall drastically. Much more land would have to be devoted to oil production alone, because humans need oils and fats to live. At an average 10/1 ratio (assuming ten pounds of seed to 1 pound of oil--it ranges between 5 and 50 to 1) this greatly increases the necessary space.


I wonder how much of this can be solved with just smarter use of what land we do have and what crops we grow and/or breed. Maybe we should be breeding for higher oil content crops both for human consumption and biofuel use.

Here in my area I think I would plant sunflowers and walnuts as high oil crops. Maybe I need to start breeding my seed squashes again. I think something akin to what the permaculture movement is doing may be the best way.  Does not mean everything has to be permaculture or permaculture extreme, but I think maintaining and using the nutrients available and not moving them away is key.

If leaves fall we should not rake them up and haul them away to the dump.

Trees have deeper root systems and bring up nutrients for other plants when leaves fall. Fruit and nuts are good food but long term.

Bushes are intermediate and can be fruit as well. Many of these can be shade tolerant and thrive in tree understories.

Vegetable crops might be able to be planted on the periphery or edge and/or use the good soil from under the trees (a renewing resource). Legumes and other crops can be grown for green manure (beans, peas, alfalfa (perennial deep roots), clovers, lupines).

I would think something Like this could maximize space.

Heck,  even rabbits, or turkeys,  or chickens could probably put into this system with minimal space and load. And their manure used as well.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2019-12-26, 04:20:44 PM
Just my opinion of course but I think there are basically three things an individual gardener can do that has some hope of adapting to climate change in the short term, none of them are new to us here on the forums.

1. Landrace style breeding although I just consider it more as collecting diversity within a species and selecting what produces best. I don't trial or compare varieties anymore, I just plant new ones as I acquire them and save seeds if they do well, I don't pay much attention to names except to not acquire that one again. Everyone can do this type of collecting, mixing or landrace breeding, if that's what you want to call it.

2. Collect and grow as above a large variety of different species. This one isn't possible for me because I don't have enough space and energy to grow a very large diversity of species in a meaningful quantity. I try to compensate here to some degree by trying a new one or two each year. Again, not a new variety but a new to me, crop. This year it's cow peas and peanuts.

3. Select for short season maturity within each crop. This is to help compensate for freakish weather by allowing possibility of replanting a failed crop if time and weather permits or growing multiple successive crops in a particular season again, if weather permits.

As far as what "we" do as a species to adapt or adjust or how "we" will fix what I believe, isn't fixable, I just don't consider myself part of that. I think what "they" will do is continue the chemically treated, petroleum fueled, economically profitable,  just in time delivery, of sugar frosted coco puffs to the tables of "them" until the rapidly approaching day they can't.   
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Lauren on 2019-12-26, 04:30:49 PM
As far as what "we" do as a species to adapt or adjust or how "we" will fix what I believe, isn't fixable, I just don't consider myself part of that. I think what "they" will do is continue the chemically treated, petroleum fueled, economically profitable,  just in time delivery, of sugar frosted coco puffs to the tables of "them" until the rapidly approaching day they can't.
Really all we can do is affect our own space. Circle of control, circle of concern. If we do our best nature will handle the rest one way or another--possibly by, as you suggest, running out of petroleum. Landraces, learning to feed ourselves and our families, small scale agriculture wherever we happen to land, these things will help cushion the inevitable end. Teach the kids and leave records, because those coming after will need them.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2019-12-26, 04:55:49 PM
I think as the father of a three year old, I have a responsibility with this plant breeding. Hopefully one of these years I will have something new that can be released. I think we can make a real difference with hobby breeding. Particularly with north south bidirectional movement of varietal diversity. I think Northern adapted varieties have resilience because they produce a crop quickly and southern adapted greater diversity. When we continuously mix the two I think good things happen.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: PaulJ on 2019-12-29, 08:53:33 AM
As a contrarian, I have been collecting seed from extreme cold tolerant plants in expectation of a mini ice age

Im a believer in Valentina Zharkova's solar cycle work
The effects of galactic cosmic rays, creating more volcanoes and earthquakes already seem to be starting and its probably going to increase for a few decades.


There is nothing new under the sun.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: spacecase0 on 2019-12-29, 05:23:06 PM
As a contrarian, I have been collecting seed from extreme cold tolerant plants in expectation of a mini ice age

Im a believer in Valentina Zharkova's solar cycle work
The effects of galactic cosmic rays, creating more volcanoes and earthquakes already seem to be starting and its probably going to increase for a few decades.

There is nothing new under the sun.
during an ice age I get more mild weather, but the big hallmark of ice age weather is randomness in the weather.
so I have been collecting seeds for every climate.
never know what will happen
history shows that the earth is really not stable at all.
what I really need are plants that can take UV light, cosmic rays, and unstable daily weather.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Lauren on 2019-12-29, 06:07:12 PM
what I really need are plants that can take UV light, cosmic rays, and unstable daily weather.
I ran into something interesting last spring--UV levels were at extreme levels, and we were told to stay inside or wear protection outside. I noticed the watermelons, sweet potatoes and squash actually crawling INTO the shade! They started sprawling normally later in the season, but I'd never seen that before. It seems to me that the plants know what to do to protect themselves.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steve1 on 2019-12-29, 08:39:26 PM
I ran into something interesting last spring--UV levels were at extreme levels, and we were told to stay inside or wear protection outside. I noticed the watermelons, sweet potatoes and squash actually crawling INTO the shade! They started sprawling normally later in the season, but I'd never seen that before. It seems to me that the plants know what to do to protect themselves.

Check out some of the Australian adapted varieties then. 20 mins in the sun here can get you burnt. One of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world and 2 to 3 times the rate in Canada, USA and the UK. Sunscreen here is not optional.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Richard Watson on 2019-12-30, 10:19:04 AM
If you dont have dark enough coloured skin melanin levels you will get burnt.  There are links between the use of sunscreen and skin cancer which is why I never use it, but never letting myself get burnt in spring is the key, now its summer i spend all day outside with no shirt on and I'm as brown I will get. The UV levels are similar over here to what you fella's get, so i think its those intense heat periods you get that forces watermelons, sweet potatoes and squash to crawl into the shade and not UV, doesn't happen here.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Lauren on 2019-12-30, 10:39:51 AM
This was actually late spring, before the real heat hit. UV was close to 10 through most of the spring and into early summer. 100+ degree days, they revel in it and want more. UV is the only thing I can think of that could account for it.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steve1 on 2019-12-30, 01:23:15 PM
If you dont have dark enough coloured skin melanin levels you will get burnt.  There are links between the use of sunscreen and skin cancer which is why I never use it, but never letting myself get burnt in spring is the key, now its summer i spend all day outside with no shirt on and I'm as brown I will get. The UV levels are similar over here to what you fella's get, so i think its those intense heat periods you get that forces watermelons, sweet potatoes and squash to crawl into the shade and not UV, doesn't happen here.

Yep, I reckon your UV would be similar. Just had a quick look at the literature on this, a meta analysis (315,000 participants) found no increased risk of skin cancer with sunscreen use, it found no protective benefits either. The early data up to 80's showed a strongly protective association which decreased to the point where it was no longer significant in the mid 90's. Maybe changes in formula? Interesting though.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2019-12-30, 06:16:30 PM
I'm old enough to remember what it was like before high UV.  When we were kids the sun felt good on your skin.  Fast forward to the 90's, I remember working outdoors one spring soon after I moved here, sunny but cold and UV 8, it didn't stop the blackflies either. I remember thinking we could now be frozen, scorched and eaten alive at the same time. :P
All kidding aside, UV can be detrimental to crops as well.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: spacecase0 on 2019-12-30, 08:42:23 PM
the current UV scale was designed to have a max of 10. that was because "they" thought 10 was the highest possible value
I have a long lost  picture with 23 on the scale... (high elevation in south america ~10 years ago)
UVa, UVb, and UVc ratios have also been changing

my corn seemed unphased by anything
then again it is the first generation corn into north america (white mohave flower)
low yield, scales well to conditions, but never fails.


Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2019-12-31, 02:58:17 AM
I don't know anything about sun screen, never tried the stuff but I do wear long sleeves and a hat during hot parts of the day. I go the Goodwill store each spring and find 4 or 5 nice heavy all white, all cotton shirts that are at least two sizes too big. They have to be heavy cotton with the double layer across the shoulders, thin material just lets in the heat and traps it but the thick baggy ones keep me comfortable. Also seems to me that the sun is more uncomfortable than it used to be.

I don't know if it is UV or just the heat but when it's over 90 F with intense sun lots of things are effected I think. Sweet potatoes wilt in the afternoons even if they don't need watered. Corn planted Early July tassels same time as the earlier planted patch.

When really weird stuff like going six weeks of 90 F + sun to a month of 60 F + rain and then back to the hot again things sometimes just fail completely. Last year April and May were hot and I had a beautiful patch of squash growing. Then it turned cool and wet with 21 inches of rain and little sun at all from June 1 to June 21. I didn't get a single squash last year. Tomatoes recovered in the hot dry after that and produced wonderfully without another drop of water until August.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Richard Watson on 2019-12-31, 11:04:03 AM
I don't know anything about sun screen, never tried the stuff but I do wear long sleeves and a hat during hot parts of the day. I go the Goodwill store each spring and find 4 or 5 nice heavy all white, all cotton shirts that are at least two sizes too big. They have to be heavy cotton with the double layer across the shoulders, thin material just lets in the heat and traps it but the thick baggy ones keep me comfortable. Also seems to me that the sun is more uncomfortable than it used to be.

I'm more comfortable just in a light coloured singlets, bit I am fortunate to have some Spanish ancestry which allows me to tan without burning.



On Face Book there was an excellent post by Liz Gladin on the Soil4climate page, thought I would share it here 
Quote
CO2 is a major global climate influencer and the issue is how those increases impact global processes - surface temperature, sea temperature, acidification processes etc, with multiple and synergistic feedbacks. Yes plants need CO2 but the rises in temperature brought about by rising CO2 (and other GHGs) affect processes other than ‘providing more of the CO2 needed to grow’. Temperature is a major impact on plant biochemistry and the speed of change in global temperatures (alongside wider changes in hydrology, soil systems, disease patterns etc etc) prohibit adaptive processes. It’s not simply about the CO2 - this is simply a marker about the impacts of which are too often not explained which opens up the ‘plants need CO2 so it is a good thing’ arguments. It is about the impacts of the rapid increase in CO2 on complex global systems - in the case of plants, on the impact of elevated CO2 and warming on growth responses - predicted shifts in rates of/relationships in photosynthesis, photorespiration, respiration, reproduction, of generally drier environments, and thermally-induced physical and biochemical changes to plant-based ocean systems. And where feedbacks are not fully understood in a world that has 7 billion people which need feeding by those plant systems and which as people here point out are already showing signs of increasing stress, failure even from historical and contemporary human processes. Clocking up the rapid increase in CO2, which we all understand is necessary for life on earth, is simply a marker for the broader complex changes we are facing. Or rather, that we are not facing up to.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Andrew Barney on 2019-12-31, 10:49:19 PM
Here in Colorado and at high altitude we probably get higher UV because of the thinner atmosphere. I really think higher UV is one reason sometimes random seeds from the generic big box stores croak immediately when introduced to my area. Among other reasons in combination.

One reason I particularly like crops with high anthocyanins. Basically plant UV filter to some degree. The silver leaves squashes also highly interest me in this regard as well possibly.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-01-01, 10:00:23 AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2020/12/30/animal-agriculture-costs-more-in-health-damage-than-it-contributes-to-the-economy/amp/

This article reminds me of Gene Logsdon and his philosophy. Gene railed against factory farming of livestock. Insisted that it would be better to have real traditional small holdings. Where a farmer grows crops and livestock together on the same small acreage.

I think this article is kind of mainly suggesting holding the facilities to higher pollution standards.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-01-25, 08:36:36 AM
https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/01/14/1913885117

Interesting journal articles I followed from science daily. It sounds like climate change may break defense systems against insects in Tomato.

Though I wonder if we can counter that.

Here is science daily article

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200121133319.htm
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2020-01-25, 09:25:50 AM
There is definitely resistance to insect herbivores to be tapped in the tomato genome.   Maybe depending on the pest _ haven't tested anything with caterpillars as we don't have the tomato eating ones here.  But general resistance is definitely possible vs susceptibility is also possible, I've seen that in two lines that really diverged for degree of insect appeal.   Probably secondary substances in the leaves - you know an extract of tomato leaves has been recommended by some for aphid control.  Lots of nasty stuff in the leaves, afaik.  Caterpillars, maybe not so much!

'My greenhouse environment is pretty extreme.  Glass glazing (vs plastic which diffuses the light) means UV stress and heat stress as well when the ventilation is insufficient.   I have seen some resilience to the high UV/higher temps in a few plants.  But the general rule applies, that pollen becomes sterile at temps over 95 F.  If there is variance in actual temperature tolerance I haven't measured that, just observed that some plants will set fruit even when up against the glazing - conditions that normally mean all blossoms will drop.  Also the 95F cited by others is a good match for my observation of temp in the shade above 92 F start expecting some blossom drop.   It is hotter at the plant surface in sun, obviously, and I assume microenvironmental effects (shading by leaves etc) are the main reason that some blossoms do survive and set.  Although cherries, for some reason, are known to be more heat tolerant than other tomatoes - as commented by many seasoned southern growers.
I notice this guy has his heat chamber on 38 C.  That is 100.4 F and into the temperature zone of pollen kill.  So I suspect a control group with no caterpillars would also have a reduced yield.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-01-26, 12:41:17 AM
I fail to understand the use of such limited tomato genetics in the research. No attempt apparant to search for varieties that can overcome this limitation found in the research. Wild type was of the research variety CastleMart. Could easily find and test a heat tolerant variety. Or another tomato species or two from an appropriate latitude and elevation to have potential heat tolerance and arthropod resistance. Maybe that gives them something to do next?
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2020-01-26, 05:59:45 AM
Well... that's the nature of science/experimental method.   One little bite at a time, and you can't draw broad conclusions from any one piece of the research.  Everything is just... a beginning.  ::)   But better than nothing.  ;D
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-01-26, 09:47:31 AM
Yeah, definitely a physiology study rather than a plant breeding one. Too many obvious avenues for potential existing resistance at hotter temperatures in tomato. Would not be at all surprised if existing heat tolerant varieties performed much better.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2020-01-26, 12:57:03 PM
I really like silver-leaved plants in my garden. Seems to be a general phenotype for high-altitude desert adapted species.

I'm looking forward to what role hairy leaves/fruit might play in the promiscuous tomato project. Seems like it might be one avenue towards resistance to insects. 
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2020-01-26, 01:33:27 PM
I really like silver-leaved plants in my garden. Seems to be a general phenotype for high-altitude desert adapted species.

I'm looking forward to what role hairy leaves/fruit might play in the promiscuous tomato project. Seems like it might be one avenue towards resistance to insects.
I was wondering about hairy leaf too, with my michihili cabbage crosses.  Lots of hairiness in tomatoes, I really noticed that in the Beta lines. I should take a closer look at hairiness in the two lines that are most and least appealing to aphids and others.
Silver leaf has an obvious effect on microclimate - interesting that it is a high desert adaptation.  Reflecting some of the incoming solar is a way to keep your leaf activity cool!
I've been looking at plant architecture as a way to select for resistant traits, since tomatoes use their leaves to shield blossoms from both heat and cold.   The funny thing is, neighboring plants will also reach out and position their leaves to protect blossoms on other plants.  So how we design our planting system may be as important, too.   From genetic standpoint, things like internode length can have a big impact on the plant's ability to shelter its blossoms through the maturing and pollinating days.  Plants that sucker fast and hard produce lots of shading options for the plant as well.   Those 'fruit support' suckers that come from below the truss can play a big role in shading, but only if the timing is right.  A later sucker isn't there when shade is needed. 





Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2020-01-27, 12:29:36 AM
In the promiscuous tomatoes, flowers might be located 6" above the foliage. All the better to attract pollinators.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Andrew Barney on 2020-01-27, 07:51:45 AM
I really wish I had silver leaved squash again. Joseph,  did you ever stabilize a population of silver leafed squash? If you did I would love some seed in the future.

Solanum peruvianum seems to like my climate and it has silvery leaves. Hopefully in the future hybrids could be selected. Since it is so hard to cross,  this may be a situation to use some introgression lines if they exist.

The trichomes (hairs) with different insect resistance in tomatoes is in several different tomato studies already,  so you are on the right track. Some of them also have different volatiles and chemicals which may also help. Leaves that don't smell like typical domestic tomato leaves might also be a way to push tomatoes into more resistant lines. Or at least change the scent some of these pests are zooming in on. Some of these pests are highly evolved for specific markers. If we change those markers it will help.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2020-01-27, 03:05:47 PM
I really wish I had silver leaved squash again. Joseph,  did you ever stabilize a population of silver leafed squash?

Interesting that you should ask. I sent my moschata squash to Carol Deppe. She grew it out (once or twice) and sent seed back to me. What she returned was almost exclusively green-leaved. So while I didn't stabilize for silver-leaved, my ecosystem tends to favor the silver-leaved trait.

Also, what she returned tended towards blossom end rot, which is super unusual in my garden. I'm thinking that has something to do with differences between my silty-limestone based soil and her volcanic derived soil
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Lauren on 2020-01-28, 12:29:29 PM
I was wondering about hairy leaf too
I have fruit flies in my plant room. I'm using beans as a test for another project, and I notice that fruit flies get stuck and die in the hairs on the leaves.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-01-28, 01:18:11 PM
That can be a pathway to carnivorey in plants. A old edition of the Montana Native Plant Society newsletter had an long article about the phenomenon. Its not infrequent that plants with sticky hairs kill small insects and then N from them makes its way into the plants. The sticky substances do some digesting.

When I worked for the NPS years ago school children usually third graders would come and we had a plant adaptation station where they could look at the hairs of silvery leaved hairy plants and such. Hairiness is important for high elevation plants and desert plants. Helps slow air movement. Reduces transpiration. Blocks some UV. In some habitats it's probably a waste of resources.

I wonder if in some cases we block natural adaptations with the care we take to water and reduce competition. I suspect that dry farming would favor plants with hairy leaves in some areas where we normally irrigate. Not watering my tomatoes last year was interesting. Kind of want to know how dry of a year they can handle now. Some of the wilds and half wilds should be much more capable than the domestics, but my domestics did great last year.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: spacecase0 on 2020-02-05, 07:26:20 PM
Winter has basically been absent this year. I've taken advantage of warm weather to get my gardens prepped to plant. Paths are cleared and some beds pretty much ready for seed. Others have nice cover of radish, turnip, mustard and overwintered carrots. Onions and garlic are growing and even some Swiss chard is chugging along.
If this continues (normal) planting will begin weeks sooner than in the old days. If last couple years are any indication a "late" cold snap in May or June might ruin it all but I have lots of seeds.
the just stream just made my warm winter change to real winter a few days ago
curious if it does that to you anytime soon
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: spacecase0 on 2020-02-05, 07:30:11 PM
I only say that because many people asked me if they should plant last week.
I assured them that it was to early.
there is a good reason why without all this modern weather news, trust the dates from your data...
there is a good reason that farmers always use to trust the calender.
don't forget how new the weather predictions really are (and at least for me getting less accurate every year)
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2020-02-06, 01:29:27 PM
Reed, do you use row cover?   Just wondering because that is such a key technology for us, to save stuff from cold snaps.
Then again, a good cold snap is also a 'selection event' if anything survives.  8)  Not much fun if nothing does, though.  ::)

That 'trichome' reading was great btw.  Thank you AndrewBarney for the useful search term!  :)
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: spacecase0 on 2020-02-06, 09:57:33 PM
the just stream just made my warm winter change to real winter a few days ago
curious if it does that to you anytime soon
should have read "jet stream"
sorry about that.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2020-02-07, 07:21:49 AM
Yea, I figured out the just stream. I have never used row covers. I do have some old bed sheets and plastic that I occasionally throw over something. And, my cold frames, I got some nice lettuce and radish growing in one of them right now. We've been eating the radishes as sprouts, or rather as small greens a little bigger than sprouts. I plant more as I harvest.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-02-15, 12:57:07 PM
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200210091157.htm

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/02/06/1915848117

This is interesting. I just read the science daily article so far. It talks about how Plantago lanceolata has adapted to harsher environments than its original environment all over the world. Multiple introductions give the invasive populations high genetic diversity. It seems suggestive to me that evolutionary / landrace plant breeding is capable of breaking environmental restrictions.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200214134705.htm

This article on the spread of crops between Asia and Europe 5200 YBP also seems to hint at this. Wheat was able to live in Northern China- it had the genetic diversity already to make the adaptation. Of course its only recently that we started growing inbred strains of any crop!

That seems to add evidence to the thesis that high genetic diversity allows for rapid adaptation to novel environments. So if we want to move a crop or other edible plant around to combat climate change, or keep a crop in place in the face of climate change, a healthy injection of genetic diversity stands to order.

I have long wondered if this could be applicable to native plant populations such as Bee Balm Monarda fistulosa. Bee Balm has an enormous native range and there are a number of cultivars available with a lot of variation in height and color. I introduced some of this variation to my property and am curious to see if any increase in recruitment may happen with time.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2020-02-17, 08:38:40 AM
William, I just remembered this material on Hopeful Monsters and transgressive segregation in hybrids and found it in my notes.
Worth rereading when I get a chance.  Transgressive phenotypes are those that exceed pheno values for both parents, which is what we need to produce eg shorter season crops to defeat the effect of extremes under climate change. 

Transgressive Hybrids as Hopeful Monsters:  (2012)
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11692-012-9209-0 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11692-012-9209-0)

and the prior work:

https://www.nature.com/articles/6886170 (https://www.nature.com/articles/6886170)
Transgressive segregation, adaptation and speciation
Loren H Rieseberg, Margaret A Archer and Robert K Wayne 1999

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1693210/ (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1693210/)
The genetic architecture necessary for transgressive segregation is common in both natural and domesticated populations
Rieseberg et al 2003
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-02-17, 09:29:51 AM
That seems familiar. I think there are examples in Carol's books in her various stories of crops. Where a shorter season variety arose from two with normal seasons.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2020-02-17, 09:53:04 AM
Worth rereading when I get a chance.  Transgressive phenotypes are those that exceed pheno values for both parents, which is what we need to produce eg shorter season crops to defeat the effect of extremes under climate change.

Roots of the original parents of my sweet potatoes had either all orange or purple/white roots yet I have had seed grown plants very different from those parents. Most extreme are solid purple and solid white roots. Would that be consider an example of Transgressive phenotypes? Other traits have exhibited similarly but root color really stands out as most noticeable.

I just figured it was due to dominant or recessive genes coming together in different ways so not anything really new, especially since those colors exist already in a number of heirloom clones. Or is that just another  way of saying, transgenic segregation?

As far as faster maturing I have just started saving seed from earliest maturing plants of what ever crop separate from the rest. For example in my "survivor" pole beans from time I find the first dry seed I set a limit of a couple weeks and keep those seed separated. Then all the rest are just mixed like I used to do. At planting time even though the early seed may make only 10% of the total, I plant it in at least 50% proportion. Just been at it a couple seasons but seems to be working pretty good.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-02-17, 11:32:17 AM
Not quite sure about the colors in sweet potatoes but I suspect that novel combinations of traits is a lot of what happens with transgressive segregation. So two very different hundred day corns might give you a range of days to maturity from say 75 to 125. 75 DTM is a big gain over 100. The sweet potatoes I suppose how segregated they are could very with the generation of the clone.

I bet this was very dramatic historically when two land races mixed. Say farmer A walked 1000 miles and traded some seed with farmer B and walked home. Both farmers might then mix the AB seed and the seed would segregate over several years. Now we just mail each other seed.

Mike sent me some Cucurbita moschata F2 from California last year that was Thai crossed with a mix including Lofthouse. It did great. I let it cross with Lofthouse and Autumn's choice F1. A few years ago I didn't think Moschatas would really grow here. Maybe they still don't in cold years 2018 was a bust but 2017 and 2019 were both great. 2018 was just Lofthouse which did great.

I personally think that one of the most powerful tools we have to adapt to climate change is simply mailing our grex seed back and forth, North and South, east-west too. I think it swaps genes rapidly and allows for rapid adaptive change. It also I think automatically builds in a lot of epigenetic change, transgressive hybridization and so forth. For the last decade or so Joseph has been a source of this kind of diversity. We can also get this affect by attending local seed swaps. As long as the varieties are different, once mixed some of these adaptive processes should kick in and the potential for something good like transgressive hybridization to occur is there. 
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: reed on 2020-02-17, 05:18:08 PM

I personally think that one of the most powerful tools we have to adapt to climate change is simply mailing our grex seed back and forth, North and South, east-west too. I think it swaps genes rapidly and allows for rapid adaptive change. It also I think automatically builds in a lot of epigenetic change, transgressive hybridization and so forth. For the last decade or so Joseph has been a source of this kind of diversity. We can also get this affect by attending local seed swaps. As long as the varieties are different, once mixed some of these adaptive processes should kick in and the potential for something good like transgressive hybridization to occur is there. 
I agree and though I'm loath to shell out the money I'm not above purchasing seed from the big seed companies , not just heirloom, or what they call OP. One catalog I have right now has a number of bush green beans that have lots of disease resistances listed  but that's just a bonus as they are all DTM of less than fifty days. I'm not that into bush beans for various reasons but a grex that could mature fast enough to plant corn after is very appealing. My corn is selected for 90-ish days to fully dry and matures fine if planted late June or even later.  Also I can plant some of my pole beans un-trellised to intermingle with the bush and perhaps get some of that earlier maturing and or resistances moved into them.

Also disease resistant, bushy squash are attractive especially if they have comparatively short maturity. Similar with tomatoes. And I like tossing F1s in my mixes. Cause of the cost I generally focus on one, maybe two crops per season and once I'v done so I don't so it again for that crop. I spent easily $100 on corn and mixed it all up with Joseph's, Carol's and Dave Christensen's plus some from GRIN and a couple friends from HG. Did the same type thing with musk and water melons, I even keep seed from those at road side stands if I really like them.

I'm actually working on a successive/inter-planted arrangement with corn and beans that depends greatly on short season maturity of both. Bush beans planted first are picked and used primarily to can for green beans. After most of the harvest vines are chopped back a little and separated good between the rows. A few beans are left on for seed and corn planted between the bean rows. When corn is a foot or so tall the bean seeds are ready and the vines are just left to shade the ground and rot. If corn is planted first after it tassels and starts to mature good some bottom  leaves are removed and a couple pole beans planted by each stalk. As the corn matures more and the vines start up the stalks more leaves are removed. Last year I even got dry beans that way, well after the corn was harvested.

Our local seed swaps are pretty dismal unfortunately.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2020-02-19, 12:42:18 PM
Steph: Thanks for the articles about transgressive segregation. I have noticed this among the interspecies squash hybrids. The "hopeful monsters" are wonderful to day-dream about. I might notice it among the interspecies tomatoes, but for them being so dramatically divergent to start with.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2020-02-19, 01:56:48 PM
Yeah - the work on 'hopeful monsters' is really heartening.  It speaks to my incurable optimism at a very deep level. ;)  (and the 'hopeless monsters' theory is pretty musty and dark).
Working with interspecies crosses, your probability of transgressive segregation is naturally even greater than the general occurrence of antagonistic QTL's (which is pretty good at 63%).  I think it was Dar Jones who first put the idea in my head, that your chances of getting something unusual are better with a wide cross - parents as dissimilar as possible, different genetic background.   And Tom Wagner described the effect of crossing unstable generations, being a magnifier for diversity.   There is also some other work I don't have to hand at the moment, which iirc found a higher incidence of transposing elements in crosses of unstable (heterozygous) parents.  All of those factors weigh into the hopeful potential in our crops, especially if we can continue to exchange seed and cross-pollinate around the globe.  And especially in your landrace breeding too, where they're set to intercross freely instead of maintaining stable lines.  Just a ton of hopeful potential, well worth the effort!



Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-02-19, 05:21:46 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/1977/05/14/archives/upstate-scientists-is-trying-to-breed-a-tomato-that-can-stand-the.html

The frosty tomatoes these scientists found back in the 70s was an example of interspecies tomato hybrids with transgressive segregation- the F2 had some individuals with better frost tolerance than either parent.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2020-02-20, 11:11:14 AM
Here is an example from two tomatoes with (I guess!) sufficiently divergent parentage.   This was a cross of Stupice X Black Cherry.   Black Cherry has the typical cluster structure for cherries - one long single truss, while Stupice has a branched infloresence, and a regular set of 12 fruit per cluster.   The F2 selection (first pic) has a cluster structure and size like the Stupice parent.   However in the F3, I suddenly got a bunch of plants with much larger clusters.   The one in the second pic had cluster size of around 40 blossoms and set over 30 fruit per.  Basically a multiflora - a transgressive pheno cw both parents.  Five out of six F3's had cluster size bigger than either parent.   The black one that was carried forward (third pic) has around 24 blossoms per cluster and set about 20 fruit per.
Obviously there is no guarantee that the transgressive trait will be one that you're looking for, this trait of cluster size just happens to be very physically obvious and unmistakeable so it's a good example.   
As regards earliness, I did have plants that were earlier than either parent in some generations, but mostly by only a few days.  Mark in Alaska made the point to me that you have to keep selecting for earliness in every generation.   In my experience this observation is true.  When you select away from  the absolute earliest because of some other trait, or if you don't keep track of earliness compared to a standard reference parent plant, you can easily misplace that slight advantage as a trade off for some other trait - better fruit quality or plant health for example.   I have drifted away from strictly quantifying earliness, but it is something I will have to revisit.


Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-02-20, 07:02:32 PM
Steph, that earliness selection in tomatoes is interesting.

I have collected some extremely early tomatoes but havent yet made a cross specifically with them.

In 2019 the earliest variety I've found Sweet Cherriette from adaptive seeds bred by Tim Peters which always previously at least tied with any other strain when planted the same way didn't manage a tie. Maybe it was the dry farming in addition to direct seeding. I think the dry farming makes the plants much more sensitive to soil texture. Shallower patches of soil led to slower growing less productive plants. I saved seed from the earliest F2 but I doubt I'll grow it because it was a boring red and I already have lots of ultra early boring reds. I think what happened is a taller plant in better soil outgrew the Sweet Cherriette standard in poorer soil. I think more equal conditions are necessary to truly unseat Sweet Cherriette as the earliest tomato even under the same condition's as 2019 because soil quality is so variable in the field and causes an interesting interaction.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2020-02-20, 07:44:57 PM
William, I've grown quite a few early tomatoes, some were very productive and very early but the fruit was barely edible (unless you cook it, and even then, once you have tasted good ones, there's a big difference).   Also noted that different early varieties performed very differently in different climates - they may be early in all cases but fruit quality and plant health may suffer (our climate tends to cause everything to suffer, haha).   So the dry soil situation is another different factor, you are best to cast a wide net and trial as many early varieties as you can and find those that produce good quality fruit in your environment.
I started with a focus on earliness and cold tolerance but ended up learning a lot about the importance of other traits in the bargain.  I have some Kimberley maternal lines that capitalized on Kimberley's early flowering.  They are cold tolerant and extra early for first fruits  but seem especially attractive to aphids and other pests which hardly bother other lines.    For example.
The most successful lines that I have, came from an Italian determinate mother line - Napoli a Fiaschetto - which was by no means the earliest of the pack but I liked the fruit quality and the hardiness of the plant.   And the lines from that parentage have been selected for exceptional disease resistance and producing great tasting fruit in cold weather.  They adapted really well to my climate.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-02-20, 08:11:57 PM
Oddly one of the best tasting early lines I have tried is segregating F2 or F3 Sungold. One tied with Sweet Cherriete when grown the same way. Odd only because it's so common and easily obtained.

I tried about 70 kinds in 2017 and still have seed for most of them. Picked about ten really interesting sorts and at least three of those have shortness of season as their primary skill. Sweet Cherriette, 42 days, Forest Fire,  Brad, and Jagodka all pretty much fall into the boring red extremely early category. Dwarf Hirsutum Cross is just a hair longer season but mildly intriguing for its habrochaites content.  For flavor I like the earliest yellows, segregating sungold, coyote, the commercial not quite cheesemanii Andrew sent me, Josephs bicolor Big Hill. I managed to cross two of the earlyish fancy tomatoes Blue Ambrosia and Amurski Tiger. Also have an early cross between probably one of Brad Gates blue bicolors and a random loft house land race potato leaf. It seems early but I wanted a more exserted stigma so I think I'll cross it to Big Hill. Eventually I want to get something equivelately early to the earliest reds in yellow and then I'll probably grow fewer boring reds. Lizzano intrigues me as an pretty early late blight resistant. I think it would be a really interesting one to select for extreme earliness while dehybridizing it. Just because I think we need an ultra early red thats late blight resistant in our breeding tool kit. Though am basing that assesment og Lizzano on just a couple F2 plants from seed Nathan sent me.

Sweet Cherriete definitely performed as advertised. It's supposed to be 35 days from transplant. That means when you transplant well grown vigourous 8 week old seedlings into a well prepared garden with good soil. I of course tortured them in all sorts of ways. Direct seeded they at least tied for first. Frozen to an inch above ground they resprouted and tied for first amongst the plants that did the same and so forth. Until last year when I combined torture regimes and direct seeded and dry farmed them. Though like I said I think that was that the not watering really magnifies the deficiencies in the less amended and naturally poorer soil.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-02-21, 06:32:13 AM
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-mexico/in-mexicos-cradle-of-corn-climate-change-leaves-its-mark-idUSKBN20F0OC

Corn loosing out to pistachios in the center of its diversity because of climate change induced drought.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/theconversation.com/amp/climate-change-is-affecting-crop-yields-and-reducing-global-food-supplies-118897

This second article talks about yields already declining. Its not going to magically happen in 2050 its alrady in decline.

I think evolutionary plant breeding is the correct response to the latter.  However that may not be possible with machine harvest but certainly is for us gardeners. Or under a scenario like that proposed in the "how to grow more vegetables" book where we go back to human labor.

The former problem seems intractable within crop once the limits of drought tolerance and drought avoidance mechanisms are reached. Thus the pistachios.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Ocimum on 2020-02-22, 01:53:00 PM
...
I think evolutionary plant breeding is the correct response to the latter.  However that may not be possible with machine harvest but certainly is for us gardeners. Or under a scenario like that proposed in the "how to grow more vegetables" book where we go back to human labor.
....

I think evolutionary plant breeding is still possible with machine harvesting: First you walk through to get the best cobs for seed, then you thresh by machine.
You could do a two step process: sow the mix of the best seeds in one hectare. Detassel poor looking ones, cull completely if they look bad. Harvest the seeds of the very best as foundation in one hectare for next year, then thresh the rest for seed in the other fields. Repeat and repeat. Preferably do this process in your worst, dryest, field.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-02-22, 02:10:51 PM
I'm not super familiar with machine harvest in Zea mays. In small grains uneven ripening like you would get with a grex or landrace is a problem for the machines. Not for hand harvesting though- apparently there it contributes to a good flavor profile.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: spacecase0 on 2020-02-22, 07:40:34 PM
I think evolutionary plant breeding is still possible with machine harvesting: First you walk through to get the best cobs for seed, then you thresh by machine.
You could do a two step process: sow the mix of the best seeds in one hectare. Detassel poor looking ones, cull completely if they look bad. Harvest the seeds of the very best as foundation in one hectare for next year, then thresh the rest for seed in the other fields. Repeat and repeat. Preferably do this process in your worst, dryest, field.
I have seen university studies show that machine harvesting breeds plants that favor the harvesting being done. (sorry no links as I read this before the internet)
human or otherwise is about the same to the plants.
the large gains in harvest are there in about year 3, by 5 it is close to maximum, by year 7 you will likely see nothing better.
this was done on grains like wheat and barley
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-04-05, 03:28:15 PM
https://www.euronews.com/amp/2020/04/01/the-best-way-prevent-future-pandemics-like-coronavirus-stop-eating-meat-and-go-vegan-view

I think we've discussed vegan ideas for climate change here. Here is one for pandemics.

There is a reasonable line of argument here. Pandemic is a symptom of climate change. Animals are the source of infection. Reducing animal agriculture should reduce agricultures foot print. Less foot print interaction with potential sources of new virus. There is also a historical argument. Here in the Americas indigenous people suffered as high as 90% mortality from smallpox. Cowpox is the vaccine, but livestock raising the source. So if we stop with the livestock we will probably have more food.

Though I still eat meat, fish, eggs, and dairy and buy organic fertilizers made from animal blood, bones, and manure. Though sometimes these articles give me pause.
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Steph S on 2020-04-30, 03:13:47 PM
Whenever I hear a really simple solution for all our problems, it raises more questions than answers in my mind.
It reminds me of the conservation ideal, that we should "hands off" nature and somehow it will all return to "normal" - this is nonsense at this point in the game.  I doubt there is an ecosystem on earth that would somehow rally back to 'perfection' without any intervention or care on our part.  It is too messed up already.   And walling up humans away from nature is a terrible idea - we need to be more a part of it, not less, to my mind.
Human relationship with other animals is very complex.  Interactions are certain to occur whether it's about eating them or not. 
So what happens if you eliminate farm animals?  People have pets.  People have zoos.  People have gardens that birds and animals visit and use as part of their habitat.    You don't even have to be near an "edge" to interact with wild birds and animals.  It may be rodents and pigeons if you're urban, doesn't matter.   There's no reason these animals can't be vectors for new diseases to jump to humans.   
I agree it is a bad idea to capture and farm wild animals for exotic food market.  Eliminate that and we could reduce the risk of the next pandemic, or extend the timeline some.   I also agree that every animal in our care, including farm animals, should be kept in healthy conditions.  Even the wild animals that cross our path should be kept healthy to the extent that we can, by providing what they need for health in the habitat.
But going completely vegan in the world, and completely  eliminating farm animals will not ever eliminate the risk of a viral crossover from animals in the wild.  I find it disturbing that a whole class of mutualistic animal relationships should be considered for elimination, and cite protection of our health as justification.  Animals and relationships/interactions with animals are a "risk" to us - to our fictional empire of healthy vegan humans.   This attitude seems fundamentally wrong to me.
Nature has begotten viruses among everything else.  Viruses and bacteria, probably the most vital building blocks of nature itself when it becomes necessary to adapt to extreme changes.  The risk to me as an individual is part of the bargain of being alive. 
If I had to name the top vector for EVERY pandemic it won't be bats, civets, racoon dogs or cows, chickens, and pigs.  The top vector is called "air travel", with or without your support animals and pets.  You can eat chick peas all day long, and you won't change that!
/rant  ::)
Title: Re: Climate Change Breeding
Post by: Adrian on 2020-06-02, 03:04:52 PM
For me the principal problem will not necessary the high or low t° but the effect arround drought and extrem humidity.I will selected for a plant able to grow very fast with a high humidity and give fruit in the dry period and able to make a  roots easily and in big quantity and tolerant at the cutting. For the squash.
For the corn i think at a corn able to tillering after a very bad conditions wich kill the principal rod.  Thr people use not good the genetics of the tomato wich for me is very interessant: we could be cutting the tomato and she could be make a root in her rod. We could be allonged the rod of tomato in the ground and she make easily a root! And tutor all the secondary rods!