About organic seed
USDA NOP Organic Seed Regulatory Citation 205.204 Seeds and Planting Stock Standard encourages farmers to use 100% organic seed for their organic production systems, which Vitalis supports:
We believe in building organic production systems with organically produced seed. Conventionally produced seed cannot be used to fully accomplish the goals of organic agriculture, based on subjection of the seeds to chemical-based inputs including synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Vitalis seeds are the product of organic production techniques that work with biological systems such as crop rotation, intercropping, organic fertilization, natural pest control and mechanical cultivation for weed control to manage organic seed production.
Organic production systems
Organic agriculture differentiates itself from conventional production systems through its utilization of natural systems to manage crop production. Organic agriculture is thereby reliant on symbiotic relationships between micro-organisms and organic matter, climate, the presence of beneficial insects and so forth. These differences raise the need for organically bred seeds that can:
While no official guidelines currently define organic plant breeding, certain principles have emerged as foundational:
With the organic market growing at a rate of 20% annually for the past decade, consumer expectations are on the rise, motivated by factors including:
Community development through support of their local food system
Breeding strategies for organic agriculture are informed by these factors. While conventional agriculture may be focused on large, regional production areas for high yielding varieties that perform well in high input conventional agriculture systems, highly valued traits in organic varieties include:
At Vitalis, our breeding programs include our own propriety crops as well as new variety candidates resulting from collaboration with the extensive breeding programs of EnzaZaden. This collaboration allows us to continually offer new and innovative varieties that are ideally suited to organic agricultural methods, and to the needs and expectation of the ever-expanding organic consumer market.
Organic agriculture rejects the use of plants that have been genetically modified or manipulated using gene technology. This is in agreement with USDA NOP regulation 205.105, which states that on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and derived products, as described in Guidance 205.2, are not allowed in organic growing and/or organic products.
From breeding to production, no Vitalis seeds are derived from or produced using Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or their derivatives, and all reasonable steps have been taken to avoid any such contamination. View the Vitalis declaration on the non-use of GMOs.
The USDA NOP issued a policy document on the use of cell fusion in organic seed production and breeding.