New Toolkit Helps Growers Understand the Economics of Seed

Educational resources support seed growers who want to scale up while minimizing risk 

Port Townsend, WA (May 15, 2018) - Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) announced a new online toolkit to help farmers scale up organic seed production, increase their profits, and build the supply of organic seed nationally. Seed producers will find tools and case studies related to contracting, enterprise budgeting, inventory management, and foundation and stock seed planning.

The toolkit is available at http://articles.extension.org/pages/74676/economic-risk-management-for-organic-seed-growers.

While organic food sales continue to increase, the organic seed supply lags behind in meeting the needs of farmers. OSA created these resources to support organic seed producers throughout the country to help fill this gap and provide growers more control over their seed supply.

The project will help farmers reduce financial risk in commercial seed production. While organic seed production is a developing industry and a viable economic opportunity for organic growers, there is uncertainty and risk. In particular, seed growers need mentorship in enterprise budgeting, record keeping, and marketing strategy.

The new toolkit includes webinar recordings from a daylong seed economics intensive held at the 9th Organic Seed Growers Conference in Corvallis, OR, this past February. These webinars were recorded live and presented by seed growers and agricultural economists. Trainings include instruction and case studies on inventory management, contracts and marketing, enterprise budgets, and more.

Seed growers will also find downloadable tools that they can adapt for their own business needs. The toolkit includes an enterprise budget tool to help farmers understand the costs associated with producing individual seed crops on their farms. Another tool helps farmers track labor costs related to seed production. Farmers will also find a planning tool to help guide decision making around how much and how often to produce foundation, stock, and production seed.

For questions and invitations for OSA to lead a seed economic training in your community, please contact Tessa Peters at tessa@seedalliance.org.

Organic Seed Alliance advances ethical seed solutions to meet food and farming needs in a changing world. Learn more at www.seedalliance.org.