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Topics - Oxbow Farm

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Plant Breeding / Frank Kutka Corn Seed Dispersal
« on: 2018-10-19, 07:34:33 AM »
I am on Frank Kutka's Corn Culture FB page (its not really a group, Frank set it up wrong and then wouldn't change it) and he just posted that he is moving and will be dispersing some corn breeding work that he doesn't need anymore and doesn't want to take with him.  It is free to interested amateur corn breeders for the cost of postage (paid upfront).  I'll copy the entire post .

"Kutka is moving, so old seed is going to go away. If you would like some 4 or 8 way synthetics of more modern lines to mix into your OP projects, I have plenty of seed. However, I cannot sell it - I have no license to sell seed, the seed is getting older and is not germination tested, and these seeds are for experimental/breeding purposes and not production. So seed is going to be free to fellow corn folks in the USA, but postage and handling will have to be paid up front. Not looking at this as a commercial venture, but would like to have expenses covered. I will send small flat rate boxes with up to @1lb of seed in a 1 qt bag for $12 postage and handling, and I will send large flat rate boxes with many pounds of seed in a plastic grocery bag for $25 postage and handling. Here is what I have to give away:
1. An 8 way synthetic for North Carolina to Arkansas
2. 4 and 8 way synthetics with @110 day RM
3. 4 and 8 way synthetics with @95-105 day RM
4. 4 and 8 way synthetics with @85-90 day RM
5. 4 and 8 way synthetics with @75-80 day RM
6. Rachel Carson 8 way synthetic with ECB resistance
7. Cornell Tetraploid composite
8. Composites of very early flints (not modern)
9. Composite of Falconer early semident (not modern)
10. Small amounts of seed with waxy, purple, floury 2, or gametophytic traits
If any of these seem like fun let me know and we can work out details. Please let other home breeders know if these sound helpful. This seed moves or otherwise goes by Halloween. Thank you.
"

2
Plant Breeding / Avoiding Patented Varieties
« on: 2018-10-17, 04:13:30 AM »
This is more along the lines of navigating the landscape of the modern plant breeding intellectual property rules.  I am mainly wondering if there is some list or database of varieties that have restrictions on them, from PVP to utility patents.

In lettuce breeding for example, it is my understanding that it is perfectly legal to use a variety under PVP protection in further breeding work, without restriction.  If you did the same thing with Breen or one of the Salanova lettuces you would be breaking the law.  With the Salanova lettuces Johnny's is pretty up front about the patents and stuff, and the description of Breen does say "Utility Patent granted", but it was much more subtle a few years ago.  I'm wondering if all utility patented varieties that are out there are clearly labeled as such?  Is there a list? 

I've also just wondered on the origins of commercial hybrids, and what the intellectual property status is for using them in breeding work.  Quite a few years back now Ramondo and I collaborated on a dehybridization project of a commercial hybrid zucchini "Green Tiger" to try and create an OP version we started calling "Jade Numbat". 



It did always concern me that I basically knew nothing about the origin of Green Tiger, what corporation developed it was it patented etc.  I didn't really know how to even begin researching it.  Where do you go to look for that information?

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Plant Breeding / Homestead Potato Breeding and Selection
« on: 2018-10-14, 04:52:15 AM »
I've been dabbling with potato breeding and selection of clones for our own use for the past 6-7 years now.  Starting with TPS from Joseph Lofthouse called "Bountiful", then some TPS purchased from Tom Wagner via his New World Seeds and Tubers seed company.  The past few years have been truly wonderful since the advent of the Kenosha Potato Project Seed Train, the diversity and abundance of the potato germplasm that arrives via the train really opened up my eyes to how much fun seedling potatoes can be. 

Areas of interest to me in the Potato realm include.

Breeding/Selecting high dry matter tetraploid clones capable of produce high yields in my gravelly silt loam soil with out commercial inputs.  This year I did not fertilize my tuber-set plot, but I did mulch the plot with a thick layer of green chop after the second hilling.  Presumably the decomposition and leaching of nutrients from the mulch provided a certain amount of fertility, while also allowing the potatoes to utilize the complete soil depth right up to the soil/mulch interface. 

Breeding/Selecting high carotenoid yellow diploid clone with good yield and good winter dormancy.  I've fallen in love with phureja diploids of the Criolla Amarilla/Yema de Huevo type.  The texture and flavor and beauty of the deep yellow orange flesh is a fantastic eating experience, but they don't store for crap.  I want a diploid that will give me more than a couple of weeds of tasty eating before they shrivel up and sprout all over the place. 

Breeding/Selecting a North American domesticated potato species.  This one is probably a long shot, but I am fascinated by Solanum jamesii, Solanum cardiophylum, and other EBN1 Mexican/US native potato species and would like to contribute to bringing them into at least partial cultivation/domestication. 

That's about it,  I've added a picture here from my highest yielding TPS seedling from 2018. The seed was a cross of Sarpo Duro and (probably) Monstruo Azul, (edited to add, this cross was made by Nathan Pierce who gave me the seed)

The image seems a bit big, but I am unsure how to resize it?  Advice is welcome. 


4
Plant Breeding / Breeding Brassicas for Swede Midge tolerance
« on: 2018-10-13, 07:08:42 AM »
Swede Midge (Contarinia nasturtii) is an old world midge species that has been recently introduced and established in North America.  It arrived on our farm approximately 5-6 years ago when we began to see visible economic damage, primarily on Siberian/Russian Kale (B. napus) and collard greens (B. olearacea).  Other market gardeners in our area have had severe economic damage to broccoli and cabbage, which are not important crops for our farm. We essentially never grow broccoli and only grow a small amount of cabbage for our own use. 

B. napus kales of the Siberian/Red Russian type are highly attractive to swede midge in general.  The mode of action is the midge lays eggs on the meristems of the host plant, the larvae then hatch and feed on the meristem by producing a enzyme that dissolves the meristem tissue.  This results in total or partial destruction of the meristem/growing point.  Severely affected plants basically melt into a pile of snot for want of a better description. This seems to be a result of secondary infection by fungal or bacterial rotting organisms.  Lesser affected plants simply have scar tissue form in place of the apical meristem, resulting in broccoli and cabbage without heads and kale plants that stop growing from the apex.  The plants then start growing from side meristems to a greater or lesser degree.  Minimally affected plants will simply show a deformed growth pattern before resuming normal growth. 

Swede midge seems to be rapidly expanding its range, and its distribution is extremely patchy even in my local area which has seen midge for almost a decade now.  Some farmers have had severe midge damage for 8 years while others only a few miles away have not seen damage or only began seeing it within the last few years.  But it has been reported in Missouri and Michigan already.  Damage from swede midge seems to be more severe in N. America vs in Eurasia, possible due to lack of predator/parasite relationships present there. 

In short, this species is a total PITA.  There does appear to be some differences in varieties ability to tolerate midge.  I have been attempting in a half-serious way to select for midge tolerance in napus type kale using the mass selection of a collection of varieties and then growing on the parent plants with the least severe damage symptoms.  Thus far, the single variety I have grown that is most resistant is a Tim Peters variety available from Adaptive Seeds called Bare Necessities.  The most susceptible variety I have grown was another Peters variety called Russian Frills, which previously was my FAVORITE napus kale for market. But midge turn into a pile of snot by the first of June.

Currently I've got a mix lot of seed from two generations of selection that I'm calling Peskimidgi Pesternomi Grex.  I am interested in sharing/collaborating with other midge afflicted growers on further developing this.  I'd like to have more folks screening for midge tolerance so we can get some good midge tolerant lines and then be able to select for nice leaf shapes and colors etc.  Right now Peskimidgi is highly variable and gets some questioning looks from my customers.

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