Background Image

news Post

Oct 05

TSTA Weekly Update, 10/05/2023

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association

Member News


Membership renewals for 2023-2024 have been mailed, please look for them! And thank you to those who have already returned renewals!


Growout season is close! Please download a growout intention survey here and return it to the TSTA office via email attachment. It's important to have a reasonable idea of the acreage we'll be needing this winter.


Last year's growouts in Costa Rica were the best ever and the Gan Eden Farm in Puerto Rico does a great job year after year. Send your seed to either, or both, locations with confidence.


Please note that the TSTA Board of Directors has approved a policy whereby no company's seed may be entered into growouts if the invoice for that company's previous year's entries has not been satisfactorily settled.


Join the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) this December 5 - 8, 2023 at our NEW venue, the Hyatt Regency Orlando, for the Field Crop Seed Convention, an unparalleled seed business networking and educational opportunity. Gathering over 2,000 attendees from 36 countries, the Field Crop Seed Convention (formerly known as the CSS & Seed Expo) is THE place to see and be seen amongst the global community of companies working in all field crops, from corn and soybean, to wheat, rice, cotton, sorghum and so much more. Now in Orlando, after 77 years in Chicago, our new venue offers any and all seed industry stakeholders a wealth of new opportunities, in a central hub of exhibits, sessions and private meeting rooms all in one combined meeting space area. 

Visit the conference home page to learn more


The 35th Annual Texas Plant Protection Conference will be December 5 & 6 at the Brazos Center in Bryan, Texas. Click here for more info and to register


The Western Seed Association annual meeting is now accepting registrations. Click here to register.

A new wheat variety available for licensing.


TX17D2337 comes from the cross between LA04041D-63 (AGS2060/GA951079A25) and NC09-22206 (NC00-16203 // P26R24 / NC96-13965). TX17D2337 is a medium maturity, awned, white-glumed soft red winter wheat (SRWW) and is a below average height line with semi-erect early growth. It has a green color and semi-erect heads at maturity. The seed are red and soft-textured. TX17D2337 is medium maturing SRWW (106 d) in the 2021-2022 Texas A&M Soft Wheat Variety Trial similar to ‘Dyna-Gro 9811’ and ‘AGS 2055’ but was later than ‘GW 6000’ and earlier then ‘WB 2606’. TX17D2337 is a semi-dwarf wheat with below average height at 28.6 inches tall. AGS 2055 is taller while WB 2606 is shorter.


Please click here for more information and a request for proposals from Texas A&M AgriLife Foundation Seed.

In an effort to update and maintain our membership records we request you take a few moments and fill out the very brief info request at the following link.


The link is secure and the information will be used internally by the Texas Seed Trade Association and never shared without your permission. This request is on behalf of your association's board of directors and officers and we greatly appreciate your cooperation. Thank you!


10/05/2023 - If you have not updated your information please take a moment and do so now. We appreciate it! We continue to update this database and need your input!


Source: USDA Release


Two companies--Corteva and Bayer--provided more than half the U.S. retail seed sales of corn, soybeans, and cotton in 2018-20, the most recent period for which estimates are available. In recent decades, the U.S. crop seed industry has become more concentrated, with fewer and larger firms dominating seed supply.


Today, four firms (Bayer, Corteva, ChemChina's Syngenta Group, and BASF) control the majority of crop seed and agricultural chemical sales. In 2015, six firms led global markets for seeds and agricultural chemicals. The concentration can be traced to the expansion of intellectual property rights to private companies for seed improvements in the 1970s and 1980s, creating an incentive to research and develop new biotechnology seed traits and seed varieties.


As biotechnology advanced, companies created genetically modified (GM) varieties of seed, such as herbicide-tolerant or insect-resistant corn, soybeans, and cotton. Mergers occurred between companies that produced and sold pesticides (primarily herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides), seed treatments (seed coatings to protect against insects or fungi), crop seeds, and seed traits.


As a result, the U.S. crop seed sector has become highly integrated with agricultural chemicals and more concentrated.


Editor's Note: Previous releases and information from the USDA under the current administration generally communicate the view that consolidation is not necessarily a good thing in the seed business. Special investigations into potentially "unfair" intellectual property protection and "near monopolies" are ongoing with regard to the seed industry (and several other industries as well). We don't intend cynicism but communications like this one seem to serve as reminders of the administration's policy to provide "equity."


One can argue that consolidation is beneficial, or harmful, and based on the situation and one's perspective both arguments can be made convincingly. Bound by the laws of the land, as long as consolidation is legal angst over the results seems a bit moot by our estimation. The membership of the Texas Seed Trade Association is just over half what it was 15 years ago almost entirely due to consolidation. The association continues to represent the same, or greater, portion of the Texas agricultural economy as is did 15 years ago however. It's difficult to conceive of an industrial segment that hasn't experienced compression and consolidation sometime along the line.

News Bits


This year's U.S. corn and soybean harvests are nearly a quarter complete. That followed a generally good week for weather for harvest activity, with possible delays later this week from an expected cooler, wetter weather pattern in parts of the Midwest and Plains.


The USDA says 23% of U.S. corn is harvested as of Sunday and 82% of the crop is mature, both ahead of average, with 53% in good to excellent condition, unchanged on the week.


23% of U.S. soybeans are harvested, with 86% of the crop dropping leaves, faster than their respective typical paces, while 52% rated good to excellent, 2% higher.


40% of winter wheat has been planted, compared to the five-year average of 43%, and 15% has emerged, compared to 16% on average.


18% of cotton is harvested and 75% of bolls have opening, ahead of usual, with 30% of the crop in good to excellent shape, steady with a week ago.


75% of rice is harvested, compared to 69% normally in early October.


96% of sorghum is coloring, 70% is mature, and 35% is harvested, all faster than average, with 41% of the crop called good to excellent, down 2%.


35% of U.S. pastures and rangelands are reported as good to excellent, a week-to-week decline of 1%.


The USDA's weekly crop progress and condition numbers run through November.


Feed & Grain Times reports:


In a groundbreaking achievement, scientists, led by University of Nebraska-Lincoln researcher James Schnable, have successfully mapped the complete genome of corn. This milestone development promises to revolutionize the future of agriculture, offering invaluable insights into crop health, resilience, and productivity.


Published recently in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics, the study titled "A Complete Telomere-to-Telomere Assembly of the Maize Genome" represents a significant leap forward in the field of genetics, coming on the heels of the human genome's complete mapping just a year ago.


The corn genome, due to its sheer size and complexity, has long posed a formidable challenge for scientists seeking to decode its genetic makeup. Over the years, technology has made strides in this area, with the first draft of the corn genome emerging in 2009. However, numerous gaps remained, comprising over 100,000 unresolved genetic sequences.


James Schnable, the Charles O. Gardner Professor of Agronomy, explained, "Our team drew on the latest technology, plus the particular expertise of the individual team members, and that finally made possible the mapping of the complete corn genome."


A significant aspect of this achievement was the resolution of complex genetic regions containing nearly identical paralogs - genes that are so similar they were previously indistinguishable. Corn's genetic repetition presents an extraordinary challenge, with vast stretches of genetic material intermingled, making it difficult to pinpoint individual gene functions.


To read the entire report click here.


Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) show wage and salaried employment in agriculture stabilized in the 2000s and has been on a gradual upward trend since 2010. U.S. agriculture employment rose from 1.11 million jobs in 2012 to 1.18 million jobs in 2022, a gain of 6 percent.


Employment growth was fastest in crop support services (27,500 jobs added, a 12-percent increase) and the livestock sector (31,400 jobs added, a 10-percent increase). Crop support services firms provide specialized services to farmers, including labor contracting and custom harvesting. By comparison, employment of direct hires in the crop sector, which has the largest number of hired farm workers, grew 1 percent.


Data from QCEW are based on unemployment insurance records, not on surveys of farms or households. As a result, they do not cover smaller farm employers in States that exempt such employers from participation in the unemployment insurance system. However, survey data sources such as the U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau's American Community Survey and Current Population Survey also show rising farm employment since the turn of the 21st century.

The Tree of Sex - Important Stuff for Plant Breeders

Luke Lythgo | Wellcome Sanger Institute


Kansas Department of Agriculture to conduct a public hearing on Thursday, October 19, 2023, to consider the adoption of proposed regulations that govern the administration of the Kansas Seed Law

Kansas Department of Agriculture


A public hearing will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 19, 2023, to consider the adoption of proposed regulations that govern the administration of the Kansas Seed Law. The hearing will be held in person at the Kansas Department of Agriculture at 1320 Research Park Dr. in Manhattan, as well as via video conferencing system.


KDA is proposing four new regulations along with amendments to two existing regulations, all of which implement revisions and offer clarification to the Kansas Seed Law. The new regulations define terms, set guidelines about analysis to determine violations, establish a list of restricted weed seeds, establish a list of prohibited weed seeds, and clarify rules for seed labels.


For the most part, these changes implement revisions that were made to the Kansas Seed Law during the 2022 legislative session and also make minor clarifications. The only change imposed by these regulations that has the potential to have a practical effect on the agricultural seed industry is the addition of Caucasian bluestem and yellow bluestem seeds to the list of restricted weed seeds. This addition is proposed to help safeguard the agricultural industry from the threat of invasive weeds which is part of the agency’s mission to protect plant health.


KDA welcomes public input on any portion of the proposed regulations — especially the addition of the new species, including those species of Old World Bluestem — to the list of restricted weed seeds. Input can be shared on the public comment portion of the KDA website at prior to the hearing or sent to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, 1320 Research Park Dr., Manhattan, KS 66502. A copy of the proposed regulations, as well as an expanded notice of public hearing, may be accessed on that webpage as well.

Public comment will also be possible at the public hearing both for in-person and online participants. Anyone desiring to participate via video conference must pre-register at the Public Comment webpage to be provided with a video link.


Any individual with a disability may request accommodation to participate in the public hearing and may request a copy of the regulations in an accessible format. Persons who require special accommodations must make their needs known at least five working days prior to the hearing. For more information, including special accommodations or a copy of the regulations, please contact Ronda Hutton at 785-564-6715 or .


Editor's Note: This may be of interest to those companies selling seed into Kansas.




by Tyne Morgan,


Did you know that the rate of suicide among farmers is 3.5 times higher than the general population? It's a startling statistic and a sign of the daily stress that comes with farming.


September is National Suicide Prevention Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), between 2000 and 2002 suicide rates climbed 46% in rural areas. By comparison, the rate in metro areas climbed 27.3%.


Stephanie Weatherly, chief clinical officer for Psychiatric Medical Care, says not only is the rate of suicide higher in rural communities, but it's especially high for elderly citizens.


"Forty-five percent of farmers' and ranchers' suicides in the last 15 years were committed by people aged 65 and older, so it just really hits home the risk that we have for the elders in our communities. Not only do they have the higher risk because of their profession, they also have a higher risk with their age," says Weatherly. "So those compounded together can be a really high risk for people in your communities."


To read the entire article click here.


Tools for better time and project management

By: Deborah Kohl & Mary Sullivan, Kansas State University



If the last three years have taught us anything, we have learned the value of our time and the importance of where we invest it. Those of us who lead teams, either co-located or geographically diverse, are under increasing pressure to return to success metrics while maintaining the productivity we boasted about during the pandemic. Enter our favorite technique for time and productivity management: Pomodoro.


Developed in the late 20th century by a British-based businessman, Pomodoro is a system that helps us work with the time we have rather than struggle with it. The only tools you need are a timer, the work to be completed, and the self-control to push pause on email and other distractions. At the most basic level, focus and productivity improve with the following steps:


  1. Determine the nature of the work you need to accomplish
  2. Set your timer for 25 minutes (a pomodoro)
  3. Work on the work for the duration of the pomodoro
  4. Allow yourself a 5 minute break
  5. Repeat 3 more pomodoros and 5 minute breaks
  6. After the fourth pomodoro, take a 15-20 minute break

Advanced tips include utilizing a Pomodoro to-do page as a time-log to revisit for scheduling projects and work in the future.


Texas Seed Trade Association |
Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  
The articles, views, and opinions expressed in the Weekly Update do not necessarily reflect the policies of the Texas Seed Trade Association or the opinions of its members.