New Podcast Episode: "Breeding Squash for Disease Resistance and Eating Quality"

December 11, 2023

If you’re interested in local seed cultivation, listen to this episode of ATTRA’s Voices from the Field podcast, featuring NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Justin Duncan’s conversation with Edmund Frost, the managing director of Common Wealth Seed Growers. Frost, a plant breeder of 15 years, has received multiple SARE grants for research and breeding work with butternut squash. He talks about his efforts to create disease-resistant butternut squash varieties with high quality taste, and the rewards and hardships in his research.

In 2016, Frost started his butternut breeding project through a SARE grant. This project involved cross-breeding and variety trials, culminating in the development of a well-received new variety, the South Anna. This good-tasting, disease-resistant and long-lasting squash has been commercially available for 5 years, and Frost is continuing to explore improvements through further cross-breeding. 

The episode, co-produced by ATTRA and SARE, highlights the importance of local seed development and encourages passionate farmers to begin their own seed growing journey. Despite the hardship and trials, Frost encourages farmers to continue innovating to create the best quality crops for our local growing conditions and markets. 

Subscribe to ATTRA-Voices from the Field wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Topics: Crop Improvement and Selection, Crop Production, Cucurbits, Disease Vectors, Pest Management, Seed Saving, Varieties and Cultivars
Related Locations: North Central, Northeast, South, Virginia, West