Organic farming has been gaining traction worldwide due to its numerous benefits, including promoting biodiversity, improving soil health, and reducing the use of synthetic chemicals. One of the critical elements of organic farming is the use of organic seeds. But how do farmers source these seeds? Let’s explore.
Understanding Organic Seeds
Organic seeds are produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, are not genetically modified, and are untreated. They are grown following the strict guidelines set by certification bodies such as the Canadian Seed Institute. These seeds are the foundation of organic farming, dictating the energy and nutrients that come through a plant.
Sourcing Organic Seeds
Organic farmers source their seeds from various suppliers. Some seeds are sourced from the US and inspected to meet Canadian standards. In addition to these sources, farmers also have the option of collecting seeds from their own organic crops.
Online databases like the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) are also valuable resources for sourcing organic seeds. These databases provide a comprehensive list of available certified organic seed varieties.
The Cost and Availability of Organic Seeds
Organic seeds tend to cost two to three times more than conventional seeds. The primary reason for this cost difference is the lack of demand. However, as the organic market continues to grow, the demand for organic seeds is expected to increase, which could potentially lead to a decrease in price.
In terms of availability, organic seeds are becoming more accessible, but finding specific varieties can still be a challenge. If suitable organic seeds cannot be found for field crops, a “seed affidavit” can be used. However, exceptions aren’t allowed for organic microgreens.
The Future of Organic Seeds
The future of organic seeds looks promising. With the growing demand for organic food and the increasing recognition of the benefits of organic farming, the use of organic seeds is expected to rise. This growth will not only benefit the farmers, but also contribute to a healthier environment and a more sustainable agricultural system.
Sourcing organic seeds is a critical aspect of organic farming. By choosing organic seeds, farmers can ensure the integrity of their crops, contribute to a healthier environment, and meet the growing demand for organic products.
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