April 29, 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
• New Members
More than networking at Annual Convention; ag economist talks risk management
Purdue University's Mike Boehlje, agricultural economist, will emphasize the importance of risk mitigation and management strategies among other topics during the American Seed Trade Association's 128th Annual Convention, to be held June 18-22 in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Boehlje explains in moving forward, many agricultural companies and businesses are challenged by their ability to be responsive in increasing volatile and turbulent times.
"We need to understand what uncertainties exist and why," Boehlje says.
Attendees will learn to use different strategies in managing risks. They'll be asked to think about their relationships with suppliers and buyers and to identify risks associated with those relationships.
"I want to get participants to think about enhancing profit opportunities, while reducing risk exposure," Boehlje says.
He will focus not only on operating risks but also on financial risks.
"In times like this where margins might be better than historically, we may not see the need to take the time to identify and mitigate risks, but it's crucial to a company's future success," he says. "The costs of capital the past 24 months have been low, but we expect interest rates to rise in the next two to four years and businesses need to be prepared."
ASTA's Andy LaVigne, president and chief executive officer, says participants should be prepared to think during this session.
"Boehlje is known for engaging audiences and making them do the work," he adds. "We hope you'll take this opportunity to pick his mind about strategies or ideas you've been pondering."
To learn more about risk mitigation and management strategies, be sure to attend the "Partnering for the Future of the Seed Industry" session June 21 at 8 a.m.
For more information about Boehlje, visit https://www.agecon.purdue.edu/cab/faculty_staff/index.asp?type=faculty&show=3.
ASTA is moving: Please update contact information
Beginning May 16, 2011, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) will be at a new location. Please take note of our new address, 1701 Duke Street, Ste. 275; Alexandria, VA 22314. The office phone number, fax number and all email addresses will remain the same.
Please welcome new ASTA members!
- AgVenture, Inc. is about knowledge, access and selection. Through the nation's largest network of independent regional seed companies, an AgVenture yield specialist will match high-yield genetics and traits to a farm's exact growing conditions. We deliver a custom hands-on approach you won't find anywhere else. David Treinen is the company representative.
- Lauber Seed Farms, whose slogan is "Your dependable source of supply," focuses on hybrid seed corn production. The farming enterprise also includes soybean contract production and conditioning, along with other varied crops produced and marketed through the years. Brad Lauber is the company representative.
- Anhui LongPing High-Tech Seeds Co., Ltd., founded in 2002, focuses on scientific research, production, process and marketing of seed. Product development is a key component of our company. Our marketing network covers more than 20 provinces and cities. In 2010, more than 5,000 million kg seeds including rice, corn, wheat and cotton were sold. The company continually strives to develop agriculture through science and technology to create valuable products that are better for agriculture and better for farmers. Zhang Xiu Kuan is the company representative.
Louisiana on track to adopt "coated seed" language
The Louisiana Seed Commission met Wednesday (April 27, 2011) partly to consider a request from the industry to revise a rule adopted in September 2010 to require coating percentages to be noted on the front of a seed bag, reports Pat Miller, American Seed Trade Association director of state affairs.
The ruling would change the law to require the words "coated seed," and the maximum amount of coating that could be in the bag to be noted on the front of the package in a "clear and conspicuous" manner. The ruling would also require a statement, in a similar format, on the front of the bag referring the purchaser to the analysis tag for more information.
Miller explains the next step in the approval process for the proposed rule is general distribution publication, a comment period and formal vote at the next commission meeting, which is usually held in early fall.
Seed industry glad to see Tennessee bill put on hold until next year
House Bill 1935, a bill under consideration by the Tennessee legislature, would require the labeling of plants and seeds sold for home-garden use in Tennessee to indicate whether they are open pollinated, genetically modified or hybrids. In a letter to the House Agriculture Subcommittee, the body assigned to consider the bill initially, the American Seed Trade Association stated:
- The proposed labeling requirements are neither necessary nor scientifically defensible, and they run contrary to federal policy established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since 1992, FDA has maintained that foods from plants produced through modern biotechnology are equivalent to and as safe as those from plants developed through conventional breeding; therefore, they should be regulated in the same manner as any other foods.
- The bill would create competitive disincentives in Tennessee among different agricultural sectors and thereby increase the cost of doing business in the state to the ultimate detriment of Tennessee seed companies, dealers, customers and consumers - with no advantages achieved.
- The bill would add significantly to the duties and responsibilities of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, thereby increasing expenses for the Department. This factor, combined with the potential loss of business to the state as out-of-state seed companies decline to take on the added burden of contracting with Tennessee growers under the new bill, would have an adverse impact on state resources during this difficult time.
The subcommittee moved the bill to the first calendar of 2012, officially killing it for this year. Pat Miller, ASTA director of state affairs, says it's important to note that this bill is similar to a failed bill from the 2010 session by the same author, who is now the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
Seed industry makes progress developing a North American standard
During the North American Plant Protection Organization's (NAPPO) meeting, held April 11-13, 2011, in Riverdale, Md., officials reviewed a final draft of a seed specific standard to harmonize the movement of seed among Canada, Mexico and the United States.
The American Seed Trade Association's (ASTA) Ric Dunkle, senior director of seed health and trade, reports that he and others made comments to be incorporated prior to its release for country consultation.
"The plan is to have the NAPPO seed standard ready for adoption at the next meeting in October," says Dunkle. "In addition to being sent to the North American countries, the standard will be sent to nine other regional plant protection organizations for their feedback in this process.
"This is a major step in our goal to ultimately develop an international seed standard and something we can feel encouraged about."
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