April 12, 2012
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
More funding necessary for Germplasm Enhancement of Maize program
|Major Goodman and Terry Molnar met with Congressman David Price, representing the 4th District of North Carolina, March 27 to discuss the need for increased funding for the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) program.
(L-R: Congressman David Price, Major Goodman of North Carolina State University and Terry Molnar of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business)
Three key seed industry representatives met with Congressional delegates March 27-28 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the importance of the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) program and demonstrate that more funds are needed to meet increasing demands.
GEM is designed to widen the germplasm base of commercial hybrid corn in the United States through the introduction and incorporation of novel and useful germplasm gathered from around the globe. It is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, land-grant universities, private industry, and international and non-governmental organizations.
Tom Hoegmeyer of Hoegmeyer Hybrids, Major Goodman of North Carolina State University and Terry Molnar of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont Company, spent two days meeting with members of the Subcommittee on Agricultural Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.
Together, they stressed that current funding levels for the GEM program are inadequate to provide needed capacity for the regeneration, maintenance and distribution of the corn genetic resources.
In the U.S. alone, more than 92 million acres of corn were planted in 2011 with a raw material value of about $76 billion per year. These corn acres are primarily based on two genetic races of maize; there are more than 250 races identified globally.
"The lack of diversity within our corn production acreage makes U.S. farmers and the surrounding agricultural community vulnerable to changing environmental pressures and market needs," said Goodman who manages the North Carolina State University Corn Breeding and Genetics Lab. "A narrow genetic base is associated with higher risk, increasing the potential for new diseases or insect species to become widespread in corn growing areas.
"There's also risk associated with abiotic stresses such as drought, flooding, heat or soil salinity extremes."
He said resistance to these risks can be found in genetically diverse exotic germplasm sources.
"These exotic sources would not only help protect crops and farmers pocketbooks, but reduce the need for pesticide use associated with combatting insect, disease and weed pressures," Goodman said.
Breeders need access to sources of diverse germplasm to ensure the continued success of U.S. corn farmers and their ability to adapt to a variety of pressures. The GEM program provides this access and maintains the germplasm.
The additional funding requested of the 112th Congress of the United States would support research project needs and better support genomic exploration of allelic diversity and adaptation at the Raleigh, NC, and Ames, Iowa, facilities.
Register today for ASTA's 129th Annual Convention
With a special emphasis on advocacy and policy, the American Seed Trade Association will hold its 129th Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., June 20-23.
This is the only meeting that unites all sectors of the seed industry to identify issues and think through solutions. This year's theme is "Make Your Voice Heard," which stresses the importance telling the story of the U.S. seed industry and American agriculture.
There is a special "Storm the Hill Day" June 20 where seed industry representatives will meet with their elected officials and other key policymakers. ASTA will work to set up appointments for interested individuals and an orientation will be held that morning.
Former U.S. Congressman John Porter and Kate McAuliffe of Hogan Lovells will share how best to conduct an advocacy appointment and answer any questions. During the orientation, participants will receive talking points, handouts and a padfolio.
Make sure your voice is heard and register today at http://amseed.com/mtg_2012ac_index.asp.
ASTA has launched the first phase of its new Members Only portal, which offers members more control of their personal and company information. In addition, it allows for a more streamlined registration process for ASTA events, so registrants will be asked to login - just follow the instructions on the screen.
For questions about registration and the Annual Convention, contact Jennifer Crouse at 703-837-8140. For questions or feedback regarding the new Members Only portal, contact Cindy Hinton or Julie Douglas.
Welcome New Members!
Husch Blackwell LLP works closely with clients to identify opportunities to create asses that help accomplish business and technology objectives. After merging with Chicago IP boutique, Welsh & Katz, Ltd., Husch Blackwell's intellectual property department has more than 90 attorneys who focus on all aspects of intellectual property and technology law, including: advertising and marketing, entertainment and media, food law, IP counseling, litigation, patents, technology & e-commerce, trademarks and copyrights and trade secrets. Joseph Orlet is the company representative.
Agriculex, located in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, builds equipment that is specifically designed for use in agricultural research. All Agriculex equipment are designed for research purposes and are typically smaller by nature. Godfrey Chu is the company representative.
DragoTec is North America's exclusive distributor of Olimac Drago products. John Stevens is the company representative.
Future Seed Executives to host webinar explaining the basics of AP and LLP
The American Seed Trade Association's Future Seed Executives (FuSE) Committee will host a webinar May 2 for seed industry representatives who are interested in learning the basics about adventitious presence (AP) and low level presence (LLP) of biotech material.
The webinar will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. and registration, which costs $20 for ASTA members and students and $25 for non-members, is due May 1. A registration form is available online at http://www.amseed.org/mtg_fuse_discussion.asp.
ASTA's Bernice Slutsky, vice president of science and international affairs, will lead the discussion and help participants understand why these circumstances occur and what the implications are. She'll also highlight ASTA's efforts to address these issues.
For questions and additional information, contact Anna Burks, FuSE consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AgReliant Genetics team visits with USDA's Chief Economist
A group from AgReliant Genetics, LLC met with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Joe Glauber April 2 in Washington, D.C.
Their visit coincided with the Department's latest planting projections, which estimated the largest number of corn acres to be planted by U.S. farmers on record.
During their visit, arranged by the American Seed Trade Association, Glauber briefed the group on the 2012 Farm Bill debate, state of the U.S. farm economy and the importance of the seed industry, innovation and quality seed. Participants reviewed record farm exports and the importance of the U.S. agricultural system and key players, including the seed industry.
Individuals representing AgReliant Genetics included John Kermicle, Andy Montgomery, Steve Sterchi, Phil McCutchan, Craig Carter and Mike Kavanaugh.
New corn webcast addresses corn ear, kernel mold management
The Plant Management Network's Focus on Corn released a new webinar highlighting mycotoxins associated with corn, which can affect the health of humans and livestock.
In the webinar "Ear and Kernel Mold Biology and Management," Purdue University Plant Pathologist Charles Woloshuk provides management strategies to help prevent and mitigate the presence of mycotoxins.
The webinar is designed to help educate corn growers and crop consultants:
Learn how to recognize the important ear rot diseases of corn;
Understand the relationship between ear rot diseases and mycotoxin contamination;
Learn the basic principles of ear rot disease management; and
Understand how to store grain properly to reduce risk of spoilage
This presentation is open access through May 31 and can be viewed at http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/edcenter/seminars/corn/EarAndKernelMold/. Other Focus on Corn presentations can be viewed at http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/foc.
Focus on Corn is a publication of the Plant Management Network (PMN), a nonprofit online publisher whose mission is to enhance the health, management and production of agricultural and horticultural crops. It achieves this mission through applied, science-based resources. PMN is jointly managed by the American Society of Agronomy, American Phytopathological Society and Crop Science Society of America.
OMIC USA receives accreditation by the Korean Food and Drug Administration
The Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) accredited the analytical laboratory OMIC USA, Inc. in the field of genetically modified organism testing March 29.
The certification is the culmination of a two-year approval process that began in 2009 and included two on-site audits performed by the KFDA. OMIC USA now has the capability to issue KFDA-accredited GMO certificates to companies and individuals exporting food and feed products to the Republic of Korea.
In 1999, the company became the first private U.S. laboratory to be approved by the KFDA to test for pesticide residues; this scope was broadened in 2008 to include testing and certification in the fields of nutrition, food supplements and vitamins.
The benefit of OMIC USA's new scope of accreditation is two-fold:
U.S. exporters can now rest assured that their cargo will be accepted at South Korean ports of entry because KFDA standards have been met.
Korean consumers will have peace of mind knowing that their food products are safe and compliant with Korean GMO labeling standards.
The DNA/GMO laboratory at OMIC USA operates under ISO 17025 quality management systems in GMO testing under the leadership of Chong Singsit, PhD, a transgenic research and GMO testing veteran with more than 20 years of experience. As an additional asset OMIC USA has a Korean analytical chemist, Seong Rai Cho, MS, who is a native speaker and has trained in a KFDA affiliated laboratory in Seoul, South Korea.
INCOTEC and KeyGene develop and apply DNA-SNP technology for seed testing
INCOTEC and KeyGene announce their strategic collaboration on DNA-based single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) technology.
Together with INCOTEC, KeyGene will develop, identify and select SNPs from a number of crops and use them for testing hybrid purity and variety verification. For each crop, a proprietary set of SNPs will be developed that will be tested on broad germplasm collections originating from all around the world. This will ensure the widest possible utility. Both companies will make these unique SNP sets available for a broad range of seed companies.
The development and commercialization of the SNP sets will be phased and developed for vegetables, as well as field crops such as corn, sunflower and cotton. INCOTEC will promote services using these SNP sets worldwide through its global affiliates, with the actual testing of varieties and determination of hybrid purity performed centrally by INCOTEC in the Netherlands.
"This partnership only broadens the INCOTEC Analytical Services portfolio and will position us at the high-end of DNA SNP technology," said Rob Pronk, managing director of INCOTEC Analytical Lab Europe BV at Zwaagdijk, the Netherlands. "Our cooperation will create opportunities for many companies.
"Until now, the logistics of developing SNPs and the necessity of running a specialized molecular lab for DNA based seed testing has been the main reason for keeping this technology out of reach for many companies. With the new services we are offering, a broad range of companies can now increase their quality control and improve their product development."
Herco van Liere, KeyGene vice president of business development, said teaming with INCOTEC generates a new outlet for the expertise and DNA-SNP technologies of KeyGene.
"The new products provide fast and reliable assessment and testing of seed lots for worldwide seed industry customers," van Liere said.
James Elgin James Hansford Elgin passed away Dec. 13, 2011 at his home in Rock Ridge, MD. Born in 1942 in Washington, D.C., Elgin attended Sherwood High School, earned a B.S. in agronomy and an M.S. in plant breeding from the University of Maryland. In 1969, he received a Ph.D. in genetics and plant breeding from the Pennsylvania State University. Elgin's 36-year career began in 1961 as a student working on alfalfa genetics and breeding projects with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, MD. More
George Irvin Sharp of Lubbock, Texas, passed from this life April 1. Born in Lincoln, Neb., in 1934, Sharp attended Lincoln High School, joined the U.S. Marine Corps and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in agronomy. He married Shirley Bernard in 1955 and they are the proud parents of two children and three grandchildren. In 1960, they moved their family to Lubbock where he began a career in the seed business, including DeKalb, Northrup-King and Funk Seed. Sharp lived his life aware of being God's hands in the world. He was very active in church and like his grandfather, was an avid woodworker, an interest he cultivated in both of his grandsons. More
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