January 7, 2011
Welcome to the electronic newsletter of the American Seed Trade Association(ASTA) for members, allies and stakeholders. Please feel free to forward the Seed E-News to others you believe might wish to receive news about the seed industry.
Questions, comments and your industry news are
welcome — contact Julie Douglas at ASTA.
Past issues can be viewed here .
In This Issue
• ASTA News
• Please Remember
Seed re-export about to get exponentially easier
The movement of seed across international borders is a complicated and often times expensive venture due to varying phytosanitary requirements and different testing methods, but the American Seed Trade Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are working to help ensure seed ordered makes it to the appropriate marketplace.
Seed re-export is a problem for the seed industry in general because companies intentionally move seed from one country to another. The country where the seed is grown out is known as the "country of origin" and the first country that seed is shipped to is known as the "first country of destination." Many times the first country of destination is the United States.
"Seed is brought to the United States for processing, packaging and a value-added component and then shipped out to many other countries for its final market," explains Ric Dunkle, ASTA senior director of trade and seed health.
Under current phytosanitary requirements, seed companies are only obligated to meet the phytosanitary import requirements of the first country of destination, not the second or third destination. This is where the current system breaks down for today's environment, a global marketplace. There is no system in place to help companies meet all the phytosanitary requirements of the multiple countries seed may move through.
ASTA is working along with USDA and many other national seed organizations to organize a three prong approach to help solve this problem:
- Long term - Develop and implement an International Plant Protection Convention standard.
- Mid term - Develop and implement a NAPPO (North American Plant Protection Organization) standard.
- Short term - Develop and implement bilateral agreements between the United States and priority countries identified by the seed industry.
In regards to the NAPPO standard, ASTA is working with COSAVE (Comite de Sanidad Vegetal del Cona Sur) and the Seed Association of the Americas. COSAVE is comprised of Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. NAPPO is comprised of Canada, the United States and Mexico.
"We have a draft standard put together which we hope to have adopted in the Fall of 2011," Dunkle says.
Turning to the bilateral agreements, in 2009 USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service submitted a proposal to the Netherlands about phytosanitry re-export requirements. They expressed interest, but were not permitted to do anything without the approval of the entire EU. As a result, APHIS expanded these discussions with the EU and in late 2010 they accepted the proposed bilateral agreement.
"Since the acceptance, we've been working very hard and diligently with APHIS to implement this agreement," Dunkle says.
APHIS has three actions to complete:
- Revise their policies and guidance to states and U.S. customs and border protections agencies.
- Modify their electronic phytosanitary certification process, which has been done.
- Organize a webinar training session to let companies know how to use the new electronic phytosanitary certification process. Two webinars have already been held and APHIS has extended the invitation to have more at the industry's request.
"This is really a 28 nation agreement," Dunkle explains. "Now this same agreement is being proprosed to Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico and Canada.
"We expect to have feedback from Brazil rather quickly. The seed industry also has requested APHIS to consider submitting the proposal to Australia, Japan, Korea and Turkey and preparations are underway to do this. The more countries we have in agreement, the better."
Dukle says this not only helps set the standard for NAPPO but also IPPC.
Now under the current bilateral agreement with the EU, it is the responsibility of the exporter to identify additional pests above and beyond the first country of origin. The company must ask for the inspections personnel to include those pests as a part of their phytosanitary field inspections and/or seed testing. This information will be included on the phytosanitary certificate as "additional phytosanitary information." When seed is re-exported, the national plant protection officer (NPPO) will consider the "additional phytosanitary information" as official and will use it to issue the re-export certificates.
This becomes an important step, especially when a company doesn't know exactly where the seed will be shipped to, Dunkle says.
The bilateral agreement with the EU is a huge step to providing certainty to companies moving seed. Until now, it has been difficult to know if a seed shipment will meet a country's phytosanitary standards.
"This will have a multi-million dollar impact on the seed industry as far as returned and lost seed goes when exporting," Dunkle says. "The biggest issue has been in the vegetable seed market, but this is trickling across to the grains market too because of the opportunity to take advantage of different growing seasons."
There are several companies looking at overseas markets and sticking their feet in the water, so we think this will be another benefit in the long run.
"Some of our member companies' seed doesn't even make it to the United States, so its really beneficial to seed companies globally," Dunkle says. "It's setting a precedent and we are confident that with the help of APHIS and the Foreign Ag Service that more countries will join in on the agreements. Other seed associations are pushing the issue from their side and we are working it from our side."
For more information, contact Dunkle at 703-837-8140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Produce Marketing Association CEO to speak at Vegetable & Flower Conference
Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of Produce Marketing Association, will share his state of the industry during the American Seed Trade Association's 50th Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference held jointly with California Seed Association's 71st Annual Convention Jan. 22-25 in Huntington Beach, Calif.
The Produce Marketing Association is the largest, global not-for-profit trade association representing companies that market fresh fruits, vegetables and related products. The Association is comprised of 3,000 companies, which range from supermarket retailers to farmers and from foreign exporters to restaurant chains, in nearly 50 countries. PMA programs are designed to promote efficient distribution and increased consumption of members' products around the world, with the seed industry as a key partner.
Silbermann will discuss industry issues, trends and what he expects for the new year during the opening general session Jan. 24 from 8-9 a.m.
For more information about the conference, visit http://www.amseed.org/mtg_vegflo11_intro.asp. Interested individuals can still register online at http://www.amseed.org/mtg_vegflo11_reg.asp and on site. When registering, please note that tickets are sold separately for CSA's annual luncheon, banquet and the spouse brunch. For questions and additional information about the conference, contact Hiranthie Stanford at 703-837-8140 or Donna Boggs at 916-441-2251.
Corn & Sorghum and Soybean Seed Conference a success in Chicago
|John Latham introduces session at CSS 2010.
The 65th Corn & Sorghum Seed Research Conference and 40th Soybean Seed Research Conference brought together more than 2,500 seed industry representatives in December to conduct business, share research findings, learn about ASTA committee activities and network.
"This was the first time in several years where we had a significant increase in attendance and that's exciting to see," says Matt Sowder of Winfield Solutions, LLC, who serves as chairman of ASTA's Soybean Division. "It was remarkable to see the number of young professionals and graduate students in the audience and that is very telling for the future of the seed industry. Within each session, there seemed to be a natural progression of topics, which resulted in great participation and quality questions."
John Latham, ASTA chairman of the Corn & Sorghum Division, echoes Sowder's remarks.
"We had a great line up of speakers and research topics ranging from Refuge-in-a-bag to breeding for biofuels and from plant composition to trait development," Latham notes. "There was a lot of thought and effort put into the sessions and speakers and I think it really paid off."
The Seed Expo had 116 exhibitors, setting a new record for the show.
The conference proceedings are in the final stages of production and will be made available in the next few days. Conference registrants should look to receive an email with a link to the proceedings and information on how to access them. For questions or additional information about the CSS 2010 & Seed Expo proceedings, please contact Julie Douglas at 703-837-8140 or email@example.com.
Please welcome new ASTA members!
Federal Hybrids, founded in 1932 by the Thurman Family of Marion, Iowa, is an independent family-owned company with the mission to help the American farmer become more competitive in today's market place by offering quality hybrids at a fair price. Federal Hybrids is focusing on farm corn averages of 300 bushels per acre and 100 bushels per acre soybeans. Tim Butikofer is the company representative.
Key Technology designs, manufactures and markets process automation systems for food and other industries. This technology integrates automated optical inspection systems, specialized conveyor systems and processing/preparation systems, as well as research, development and world-class engineering. Served markets range from fruit, vegetables, potatoes, snacks, cereals and meat to tobacco, pet food, plastics and pharmaceutical/nutraceutical manufacturing. Anita Funk is the company representative.
Topsource Seed Company, established in 2005, is a customer-oriented company in China that deals mostly with seed businesses which have foreign customers, including seed production contracting, exporting, stock seed importing and payment settlement. Joshua Wang is the company representative.
Corn Belt Seed Conference topics range from human resources to global marketing
The Indiana Crop Improvement Association and Indiana Seed Trade Association will host the 2011 Corn Belt Seed Conference Feb. 10-11 in Indianapolis, Ind., and seed companies, growers and producers are encouraged to attend.
This year's conference, "Sustaining Profitable Agricultural Systems in a Dynamically Changing Environment" will feature industry and educational experts touching on a variety of topics.
Interested individuals can register online at http://www.cbsconference.org/.
- Agroecology: Midwest Crop Agriculture in an Evolving World," by Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean, Purdue University's College of Agriculture
- Integrating Technology, Managing Variability and Avoiding Information Overload," by Cory Reed, John Deere
- Nitrogen Loss 2009-2010: Using Nitrogen More Efficiently Next Year," by Jim Camberato, Purdue University
Other topics include recruiting and retaining talent, intentional soybean management, corn production management, best practices in human resources and more.
For questions and more information about the conference, please call the Indiana Crop Improvement Seed Technology Center in Lafayette, Ind., at 765-523-2535 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seed Biotechnology Center takes the Classroom to the Professionals - Seed Business 101™
Seed Business 101 was created with input from industry executives to accelerate the careers of promising new employees. It offers invaluable insights and perspectives to employees of seed producers, seed dealers and companies offering products and services to the seed industry, including seed treatments, crop protection, seed enhancement and technology, machinery and equipment. The purpose of this course is to shorten the learning curve for new employees teaching them what every employee must know about the main functional areas of a seed company in order to perform optimally in the team as quickly as possible and avoid mistakes. The course is designed to focus on optimum operations of the five major functional areas of a seed company: Research and Development, Production, Operations, Sales and Marketing and Administration.
Participants will acquire a broad understanding of the major aspects of a seed company's operations and cross-departmental knowledge of best practices for profitability. Case studies are designed to immerse participants in the decision-making roles in all five functional areas of a seed company.
Registration:Enrollment is currently being accepted for Jan. 17-21 in Boise, Idaho and Feb. 14-18 in Yuma, Ariz.
For more information contact Jeannette Martins, email@example.com or to register go to: http://sbc.ucdavis.edu/education/seed_business.html.
Seed Biology, Production and Quality Course is February 16-17, 2011
This unique two-day course is designed for professionals in the seed industry, crop consultants and growers to update and expand their current knowledge. Participants will learn fundamental and specialized information on topics including seed development, production, harvesting, testing, conditioning, enhancement, storage, pathology and quality assessment. The course content has been updated with the latest information.
Instructors include Derek Bewley of the University of Guelph, Henk Hilhorst of Wageningen University in The Netherlands, Hiro Nonogaki of Oregon State University, Robert Gilbertson of University of California-Davis, Deborah Meyer of California State Seed Laboratory and Kent Bradford of University of California-Davis.
Registration as of Jan. 7 is $650 per person.
For more information or to be added to the mailing list please contact Jeannette Martins at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sbc.ucdavis.edu.
At age 54, Bob Boomsma passed away Nov. 23 surrounded by family. Boomsma managed the Garden Seed Department at Olds Seed, located in Madison, Wis., and was an active member of Geneva Campus Church. Olds Seed established, in 1888, is a wholesale supplier of superior quality turfgrass, farm, restoration, habitat and garden seed and seed related products to customers throughout the upper Midwest.
ASTA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact ASTA at (703) 837-8140.