Brainfood: First farmers, First dogs, First olives, Food sharing, Seed longevity, Seed germination, Conservation & climate change, Urban gardens, Seed movement, Machine learning, Web crawling, Imaging spectroscopy

Trade and germplasm

Want to know why New Zealand has a huge collection of temperate forage diversity in its Margot Forde Forage Germplasm Centre, part of AgResearch Ltd? Just check out its exports on the OEC website.

I learned about the OEC’s snazzy visualisations of economic data via their addictive daily game Tradle, which invites you to guess the country based on its exports.

I think we should do a version where you guess the country based on its genebank holdings, but that’s another story.

A new organic, heterogeneous era dawns in Europe

What I forgot to do when I mentioned the Seeds4All Newsletter recently is link to their new “brochure outlining the regulatory steps to be taken in order to market OHM-labelled varieties.”


2022 is a special year, as it will start with the entry into force of the new European Regulation on organic production, introducing the possibility of marketing seeds of ‘organic heterogeneous material’ (OHM) without any obligation to be registered in official catalogues.

We believe that this new legislation is a real advance for cultivated biodiversity and could reinforce the sustainability of organic agriculture by allowing the marketing of a greater quantity and diversity of truly organic seeds.

For these regulatory advances to be effective, it is necessary though that field operators seize them and commit to the marketing, reproduction and use of seed of organic heterogeneous material.

Bet there was a bit of resistance to that. You can download the brochure from the Seed4All website. Have fun.

Brainfood: Trade double, Organic farming, Food vs non-food, Wild plants, Wheat yields, CWR in S Africa, Gene editing, European seed law, Farm diversity

Ukraine national genebank endures

If you’re worried about the Ukraine genebank, the latest news is that it’s still ok. Here’s the official (maybe?) statement:

Due to the shelling by Russian troops of the Juriev Institute’s premises, the part of the specimens that were being prepared for regeneration were destroyed. The main collection is unharmed.

And Newsweek has done the factchecking.