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Forum area for discussing hybridizing tomatoes in technical terms and information pertinent to trait/variety specific long-term (1+ years) growout projects.

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Old January 4, 2016   #46
Dutch
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Hi Nicollas,
I understand your point of view and I personally do not have a problem with OP breeders making money on their own work.

I am sadden (to say the least) when a so called breeder takes someone else's work and touts it as their own.

As for myself, I have made hundreds of crosses and never made even a plug nickel on any of it. I do it simply because I can. I enjoy being outside with nature and I even enjoy weeding! I do 100% of the work myself. My garden is only about one acre in size, so there is no need to hire anyone to help me.
Some folk may think I am out in left field, but I truly enjoy my view from there.

Dutch
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Last edited by Dutch; January 4, 2016 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old January 4, 2016   #47
nicollas
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I think too that it is great to have no financial pressure and do amateur breeding. a lot of good stuff came out recently from curious or educated amateur tomato growers. But what to do when you want to do it most of your time, studying deeply genetic, spending time/space/money to grow a lot of segregating populations, ... ? I think that it is not because one enjoys doing a thing of public interest that it could only be done for free. But apparently nobody found a way to reclaim value specifically for OP breeding (not considering created advantage for seed or food production to sell by the breeder)

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Old January 4, 2016   #48
Dutch
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Thank you for your input Nicollas.
Your point is well made and I do understand your point of view.

I am retired and have more time then money. I drive a 1983 pick up truck.
Growing over 800 tomato plants is a sun up to sun down task I love.
I eat good food, my house has electricity and I even have indoor plumbing!
Life is good!!! I want for nothing!
Dutch
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The intuitive mind is a gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. But we have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. (paraphrased) Albert Einstein

I come from a long line of sod busters, spanning back several centuries.

Last edited by Dutch; January 4, 2016 at 07:50 AM. Reason: Grammar and spelling
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Old January 4, 2016   #49
nicollas
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Quote:
I am sadden (to say the lest) when a so called breeder takes someone else's work and touts it as their own.
I was not aware of such actions. Yes that is a shame.
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Old January 4, 2016   #50
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I just want to clarify something here. I am not destitute or poor. I have money in the bank. I own my house and I paid off the mortgage years ago. There are no holes in the roof or broken windows. I have no credit card debt and I pay all my monthly bills in full every month. I drive the old 1983 pickup truck by choice. I am comfortable in it and I have no need to be ego tripping. I also have a newer Ford pickup and a car. My clothes are neat and clean. Other than being bearded with collar length blond hair and dark green/hazel eyes, my guess would be that I probably appear fairly normal to most folk. I do not know for sure because I am not them, I am me. I am happy being me!
Dutch
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"Discretion is the better part of valor" Charles Churchill

The intuitive mind is a gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. But we have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. (paraphrased) Albert Einstein

I come from a long line of sod busters, spanning back several centuries.

Last edited by Dutch; January 4, 2016 at 01:37 PM.
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Old January 4, 2016   #51
bower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Hempel View Post
I like the music analogy. Let me take it one step further. Independent breeders are like garage bands, or unknown YouTube performers who are trying to create music. They spend considerable time and energy working on their craft, and occasionally they get paid pocket change or drinks for their efforts.

Discussing how to make money being a garage band is a frustrating exercise. Although many garage bands are creative -- the best case scenario for making money is probably limited to becoming a "cover" band and playing expensive weddings (something tangential to actually creating music).

Motivations for independent breeding are varied and I would guess money is not a top priority for most. However, I would guess that some of us do dream of creating a tomato that somehow opens doors that are typically closed. But, our chances of making money breeding are probably about as high as being the next Justin Bieber (a YouTube discovery by record execs, for those who don't know).

I don't really think there is a formula, although Travis' suggestions are reasonable.
Very funny rereading this, I realized that I actually did play a wedding this summer, with my 'garage band' F2 cherries. It was for love though, not for money. I did have the reward of being dubbed a 'tomato wizard' by the maid of honor, who 'doesn't even like tomatoes'. And actually it was a personal triumph to have ripe tasty cherries for the wedding date as I had planned to do, even in spite of the miserably cold summer we were having.

What Scott RedBaron said about multiple revenue streams makes a lot of sense to me. I don't personally have discretionary income to support the work or the material cost that goes into tomato breeding. For the past couple of years, I've been able to pay for the material cost, if not the labour, by selling some extra pepper and tomato plants, and selling some of my surplus tomatoes. Selling seeds also makes complete sense to me as a small revenue stream to help cover some of the cash expense.

What I learned this past year is that all of those revenue streams can fail for one reason or another in a bad year. Like Joseph the underlying motive for me to breed tomatoes is to develop varieties that will produce high quality fruit in our local conditions, even in a bad year. I should count myself lucky that the first year growing a lot of F2's here, also was one of those very challenging years. I got a very clear picture of the winners and losers in the worst conditions, and how much risk is involved in pursuing the less well-adapted lines, which might be great in a better year but then fail when the going gets tough.

Anyway, going forward and thinking about the season to come in 2016, I am naturally thinking, how will I recoup the costs coming up and also pay for the losses in 2015.
I would like for the project to pay for itself, at minimum.
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Old January 4, 2016   #52
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Great discussion. I've argued for a while that we need something in place like the open source software community has. So I was encouraged to see what the Dwarf Project and others are doing with the Open Source Seed Initiative. Maybe nctomatoman can discuss that a bit because it has real potential.
Down the road, as it becomes easier and cheaper to obtain the genetic sequence of a particular tomato, we can eliminate some duplicate named varieties. We may also be able to eliminate the possibility that a commercial seed company will rip off our work or patent the variety.

Lee

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Old January 5, 2016   #53
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I think the way that intellectual property law fails to protect OP breeders is just ridiculous, considering IP law does protect:
  • photographs
  • drawings or paintings
  • written descriptions
As "creative expressions" under copyright law, those protections are instant, universal, and have no requirement of quality or amount of work and time invested. So someone can steal years of breeding work and sell it as their own....but by golly they don't get to use your pictures! That would be unfair.
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Old January 5, 2016   #54
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Cole, have you read the OSSI pledge?
I don't have it in front of me, but I thought the wording was a bit ambiguous or difficult to understand without reading all the extra explanations, and there are questions as to whether it would be legally binding.
I think it works for the breeders who work professionally in the universitites, as a means of obtaining their employer's commitment not to sell the rights to the product in question to an exclusive corporate interest. So it is the verbal or written agreement of the employer that would stand up in court, not the pledge itself per se.
I don't know if it really offers any legal protection to independent breeders.

What do you think?
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Old January 5, 2016   #55
Fred Hempel
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The OSSI pledge may be well-intentioned response to real problems in agriculture, but I would argue it is silly to think it does anything for OP breeders (other than freely providing them with material they can use to breed with, strictly for fun).

This is what is requested:

Through our Pledge, OSSI asks breeders and stewards of crop varieties to pledge to make their seeds available without restrictions on use, and to ask recipients of those seeds to make the same commitment.

How can a document calling on a breeder to immediately release all of their varieties with NO RESTRICTIONS protect a breeder? It does nothing to reward innovation of a breeder.

Frankly, it gives all power to seed producers and retailers who now have to pay nothing to the breeder. The retailers now have a nice story (Emancipated Seed!), but the breeder has been stripped of rights.

What other type of craftsman is bullied and shamed into releasing their workmanship for free?

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Originally Posted by bower View Post
Cole, have you read the OSSI pledge?
I don't have it in front of me, but I thought the wording was a bit ambiguous or difficult to understand without reading all the extra explanations, and there are questions as to whether it would be legally binding.
I think it works for the breeders who work professionally in the universitites, as a means of obtaining their employer's commitment not to sell the rights to the product in question to an exclusive corporate interest. So it is the verbal or written agreement of the employer that would stand up in court, not the pledge itself per se.
I don't know if it really offers any legal protection to independent breeders.

What do you think?
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Old January 5, 2016   #56
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It irks me when a big seed company takes a known open-pollinated variety and gives it a new name and labels it a hybrid. We've seen that with several heirlooms, but I wonder if it is happening with some more recently developed varieties.
There are two hybrids in the catalogs this year which appear to be dead ringers for Danube, a variety I released in September of 2014.
I'll get some seed and see before I spout off anymore. It probably is just a coincidence - sort of convergent evolution - but has anyone else wondered about this?
Lee
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Old January 5, 2016   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodwin View Post
It irks me when a big seed company takes a known open-pollinated variety and gives it a new name and labels it a hybrid. We've seen that with several heirlooms, but I wonder if it is happening with some more recently developed varieties.
There are two hybrids in the catalogs this year which appear to be dead ringers for Danube, a variety I released in September of 2014.
I'll get some seed and see before I spout off anymore. It probably is just a coincidence - sort of convergent evolution - but has anyone else wondered about this?
Lee
If this has happened or does happen, I think there are 'truth in advertising' laws which apply.
Also if the information is made public, some of us at least would boycott the company responsible.
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Old January 5, 2016   #58
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Hi Lee,
I also am irked (to say to least) when a big seed company takes an open-pollinated variety and gives it a new name and labels it as a hybrid. I've seen their ways too often for my liking.

Dutch
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The intuitive mind is a gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. But we have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. (paraphrased) Albert Einstein

I come from a long line of sod busters, spanning back several centuries.
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Old January 5, 2016   #59
goodwin
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Well, we're all on the same page. I need to make one correction to my previous post. What I remembered as two varieties is just one. In one place it is listed as a hybrid and in the other they don't say. But both listings use the same name.
Although, when I think about the logistics of bringing a new variety to market I am not sure there would have been enough time between my release and this new tomato anyway. So they probably are different.
The key in the future will be the ability to easily identify a unique variety from a DNA sample. That will stop any foolishness that might be going on.
Lee
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Old January 5, 2016   #60
Fred Hempel
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DNA fingerprinting is now available and cheap, and this is one reason I doubt that the "big companies" currently steal varieties, rename them, and claim they are hybrids.

It is just too easy to prove that they did it. Plus, it would require a company conspiracy to steal an OP variety and re-name it, which would also increase the risk even more. The company can't assume that all folks in the production chain would go along, without blowing the whistle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodwin View Post
Well, we're all on the same page. I need to make one correction to my previous post. What I remembered as two varieties is just one. In one place it is listed as a hybrid and in the other they don't say. But both listings use the same name.
Although, when I think about the logistics of bringing a new variety to market I am not sure there would have been enough time between my release and this new tomato anyway. So they probably are different.
The key in the future will be the ability to easily identify a unique variety from a DNA sample. That will stop any foolishness that might be going on.
Lee
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