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Nov 10

TSTA Weekly Update, 11/10/2022

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association
Member News

Attention Sorghum, Sunflower, and Millet Seed Producers


It's Growout time again. We've reached out to our friends and cooperators in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica and we are all set to move forward with this season's growouts. Jeb Owen needs your Costa Rica samples by this coming Monday. They will be planted the week of November 28th.


Puerto Rico samples need to be to Jeb by the end of November and will be planted the week of December 12th.


Please download the growout planning & intention form found here for more information and to submit your estimates. Thank you and we'll forward more info as it is available.  


Reserve the dates! The annual Texas Seed Trade Association conference will be February 12 and 13th, 2023 at Horseshoe Bay Resort. Rooms will be available from Saturday night February 11th with departure on Tuesday February 14. Super Bowl Sunday is the 12th. Plan to join us. Registration will be live tomorrow morning and a special edition will be sent out with the link. 

ASTA’s largest event of the year, the CSS & Seed Expo 2022, will be opening soon for attendee registration, along with the new menu of sponsorship opportunities at all events for the coming fiscal year (July to June).

After 76 years, the CSS & Seed Expo returns to Chicago, IL for one last time this December 5-8, before the conference moves in 2023 to the Hyatt Regency Orlando for the foreseeable future.

With a theme of “Farewell Chicago,” the event’s website offers tools to submit your favorite conference memories for the many attendees who have been coming to Chicago each December year after year, many for over 30 years and counting.

Already featuring over 70 exhibitors, this year is anticipated to represent a return in full force after smaller numbers in 2021 due to the pandemic.

Visit ASTA Events at for more information.


Editor's Note: ASTA is headed to Florida. Please join us at the last Chicago CSS meeting!

Texas Plant Protection Conference Dec. 6-7 in Bryan

Changing markets, pesticide, fertilizer, weather outlook to be discussed


BRYAN - The agricultural industry is changing, and the upcoming Texas Plant Protection Conference is an opportunity to learn about responding to these changes.

Ronnie Schnell, Texas Plant Protection Association president and Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension specialist, invites farmers, ranchers, crop consultants, Extension and other ag industry professionals to a two-day conference Dec. 6-7 at the 34th Annual Texas Plant Protection Conference at the Brazos Center in Bryan, Texas. Ag leaders will discuss changing markets, changing pesticide and fertilizer outlooks as well as changing weather patterns and the impact of these changes on Texas agriculture.

The conference begins with a general session. Following a welcome by Dr. Jeffrey Savell, Vice Chancellor and Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences for Texas A & M AgriLife, Dr. Mark Welch, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service grain marketing economist, will discuss “Global Markets Outlook and Impact on Texas Agriculture”.


After a short break to view ag research posters and industry displays, Chris Novak, President & CEO of CropLife America, will present information on “The Pesticide Forecast- Innovation, Opportunity & Challenge”.  Toby Hlavinka, President & CEO of American Plant Food Corporation, will discuss “Fertilizer – Supply & Pricing Outlook”. The morning session ends with a presentation on “Weather Patterns Impact on Texas Agriculture” by Eric Snodgrass, Science Fellow and Principal Atmospheric Scientist with Nutrien Ag Solutions.


After lunch, the afternoon Consultant Session includes discussions on “Gossypol-free Cottonseed Could Help Solve World Hunger’ by Keerti Rathore with Texas A & M University. Dalton Ludwick, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomology Specialist, will present information on “Stink Bug Control in Sorghum”. “An update on “Carbon Credit Contracts” will be presented by Tiffany Lashmet, J.D., Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Law Specialist.


Following an afternoon break, Dr. Barron Rector, AgriLife Extension range specialist, will conduct his Pest ID Contest. It’s a fun way to learn more about ag pest in Texas. The first day of the conference ends with New Technology & Chemistry updates by industry technical specialists.


The second day of the conference begins with a Law & Regulations Session that includes an update from Perry Cervantes with the Texas Department of Agriculture. Then “Federal Pesticide Policy Updates” will be led by Rod Snyder, Senior Advisor for Agriculture to the EPA Administrator in Washington, DC.


The remainder of the program consists of concurrent sessions on Cotton, Horticulture/Turf, Grain, Pasture & Rangeland, Water& Irrigation and Fertility Management. These sessions feature the latest from Texas A&M AgriLife and industry leaders.


Ray Smith, the Texas Plant Protection Association Board Chairman, reminds conference attendees to be sure and attend the Awards Luncheon at noon on the second day of the conference.  Several TPPA Awards are presented including the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award.


Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) will be offered for both TDA and CCA.  For more information or to register to attend the conference either in person or virtually visit the TPPA website: . Discounts are available for early registration and for farmers.

Independent Professional Seed Association (IPSA)


IPSA's 34rd annual conference will be held January 23-24, 2023 in Tucson, AZ.


There are some different things this year we would like to cover:


• We will have all receptions on site this year to take advantage of the beautiful scenery of the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort! One of the receptions is titles the "Legends of Independence" where we will have a chili cook off and a salsa competition. During your registration, you will have the ability to register for each of those events - or judge!


• We will be offering a Flash Networking corner for you have quick 20-minute meetings during breaks! This is very new to IPSA and we hope this will bring a new benefit to our conference. These meetings will need to be prescheduled and can be done on the Conference App! For questions, please contact Cat at 


• In the agenda this year, we have built in a large amount of time for networking and visiting the exhibitors.


For more information click here.

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!


11/10/22 - 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!

News Bits


The end of this year's U.S. corn and soybeans harvests is drawing near. Forecasts for the region do have rain and even snow in parts of the Midwest and Plains along with generally colder temperatures in the back half of the week for many areas.


The USDA says that as of Sunday, 87% of U.S. corn is harvested, compared to the five-year average of 76%, and 94% of soybeans are harvested, compared to 86% on average.


92% of winter wheat is planted, compared to the usual rate of 90%, and 73% has emerged, compared to 74% on average, with 30% of the crop called good to excellent, up 2% on the week.


62% of cotton is harvested, compared to 55% normally in early November.


The USDA's next set of crop production estimates is out Wednesday at Noon Eastern/11 Central.


Major CO2 emitters and large economies like China, India and Russia not yet confirming their attendance at this year’s COP27 is regrettable, Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera told EFE in an interview.


Ribera and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will attend the opening session of the UN climate summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh on Monday. “I think it is essential to be there,” said Ribera in the interview.


The no-show of China, India and Russia are “major absences at a geopolitically tense time that we will regret,” the minister said, pointing to the negative multilateral environment in terms of climate policy and more generally.


At the same time, Ribera highlighted the importance of several African leaders and new Latin American leaders attending the summit.


On the European Union’s climate policies, Ribera believes the bloc should explain that it remains committed to speeding up its ecological transition and that its return to “more traditional solutions” to reduce Russian gas dependency are temporary.


“In a context of such energy turmoil”, many developing countries want to know the degree of commitment of the EU and the US, she added.

Ribera also called for “constructive multilateralism” and to approach global problems in a way that allows “peace to continue to be built”.


OECD chief calls for phase out of ‘distortive’ farming subsidies globally. Public spending must move away from distortive and environmentally harmful farming subsidies, according to the secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Mathias Cormann. Read more.


The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service says the number of grain barges being unloaded in New Orleans during September and October dropped significantly. An AMS report says the number of barges is 20-30 percent lower than in recent years. The slowdown coincides with river closures and restrictions on barge companies that reduced the bar tow.


Typically, 30-40 barges can move down the river together, and the new restriction says no more than 25. The tonnage movement has been even weaker. Since September, tonnage going through locks was down more than 40 percent below recent years. The significant decline in tonnage is consistent with reports of how barges have been forced to reduce their draft.


Barges are normally loaded to an 11-12-foot-deep draft during the fall. However, companies started imposing nine-foot barge draft restrictions in October. That can lead to a reduction of 10,000-15,000 bushels per barge. Tonnage appeared to pick up in October.

Seed Buying for ’23 Starts Off Early with Renewed Focus

From CropLife by Jackie Pucci


Seed is a 12-month sell — it takes time. Ag retailers were even shorter on time in the past year as they contended with a barrage of supply chain struggles, inflation, and personnel issues.


Prevent plant acres also contributed to difficulties in the seed segment. U.S. farmers reported being unable to plant on nearly 6.4 million acres, compared with just 2.1 million acres in 2021.


According to results from the 2022 CropLife 100 survey, ag retailers’ market share for the seed segment among inputs will drop from 14% to 11% in 2022. Total seed sales for the year will be flat from 2021 at $5 billion. This contrasts to stronger sales from other input segments like fertilizer, which came in at $23.9 billion, up from $15.3 billion in 2021, and crop protection, which climbed to $15 billion from $12.9 billion in 2021, according to the survey.


“We saw a lot of folks in retail wearing a lot of hats, and they always do,” Kurt Curry, Area Business Development Manager with Brevant Seeds, says. “They had to resell over and over again, just because of the fact that prices were changing, so they were doing two to three times the work to get the same amount of business.”


At the same time, most companies we interviewed expressed that seed will only grow in importance for the retailer going forward. “There is no lack of opportunity for retail on seed,” Curry says. “Most have a plan to grow because they are already working with growers on their other input costs. They’ve got a real commitment to grow the seed business.”


“Seed is a higher-value input and I think retail is in a great position to maximize that,” says Andy Montgomery, Commercial Unit Head, NK Seeds. “Putting in the time and attention needed to maintain those seed relationships is really important — there is more competition for that seed acre than there is for the crop nutrient and herbicide business.”


At CHS, the nation’s sixth-largest ag retailer in the CropLife 100 survey, corn and soybean sales were off on prevent plant acres in the heavily hit Dakotas and Minnesota, where it derives the majority its seed sales. However, once the corn acre was lost due to timing, growers didn’t automatically switch to soybeans in that market, often opting for hotter-value crops like sunflower and canola, according to Travis Kauth, Senior Product Manager, Seed.


“Anheuser-Busch was very aggressive on barley acres,” he adds, noting that when all was said and done, CHS total seed sales were up just over 1%.


Earlier and Earlier

That industry catchphrase — “lead with seed” — is critically important to understand, Todd Pester, Corn and Soybean Lead for Nutrien Ag Solutions, says.


“I think what created a lot of anxiety last year was the unavailability of some of the inputs like glyphosate or glufosinate. People were planning to go early. It’s changed the mindset even going into 2023,” he tells CropLife®, “although we expect a lot of the supply chain issues to be much better than the previous year.”


Nutrien is focused on ensuring that growers who purchase its seed have access to inputs to help manage weeds in 2023. “We’re having success in securing early seed orders for the folks who are really interested in getting what they want and getting it locked down.” Pester adds: “The longer you are waiting into November or December to make a hybrid or variety selection, chances are you won’t get that first choice.”


Every grower needs to understand their operation and yield potential for each field to make the best selections that are going to maximize production and profits based on commodity prices and other input costs, he stresses. “Still continue to watch commodity prices as you’re making crop and fertilizer decisions even this fall,” he says.


Pester says he’s hearing that seed costs will increase another 10% to 15% for 2023.


In addition, seed decisions continue to be pushed earlier and earlier, not necessarily by desire on the part of growers.


“We’ve always believed we’ve got to be on farm first. Certainly, the race to the farm is faster and faster,” CHS’ Kauth says.


“For crop protection and fertilizer, the grower seems to be stepping up because they have to, in order to secure the product they need,” Terry Herzig, CHS Vice President of Retail Sales, adds. “I’m sure that’s helping on the seed side as well.”


Syngenta’s NK Seeds, one of the fastest-growing brands, which has set itself apart through its proprietary soybean genetics, engaged growers in July and August preharvest on their ’23 seed decisions.

“It’s paid really big dividends,” NK Seeds’ Montgomery tells CropLife. “As an industry, we have to be able to move up how and when we talk to growers about seed. Retail sellers that do that are winning.


“It’s a huge opportunity for retail to cut through the noise, to be able to offer simple solutions across multiple product lines, multiple genetic sources, and trait options. A single seed brand can’t always do that, but a retailer can offer those solutions in one stop,”


Montgomery observes. “Service that follows through — whether it means access to education, knowledge, storage, or in-season deliveries — that’s something a local retail partner can deliver that regional brands and other suppliers can’t.”



NK Seeds expects the market ended the ’22 season with around 45% Enlist E3, and that will likely go to 50% to 55% in 2023, says Eric Miller, Soybean Product Marketing Manager. “That dynamic alone has been a big discussion point for ag retailers in their decisions around weed control — having a (soybean) market that’s essentially bifurcated into Enlist E3 and XtendFlex,” he says.


Miller adds: “Soybeans have been complicated in a lot of positive ways because there are choices for farmers now. It’s been an easy button for so many years, and there are a lot of great choices to control weeds and NK has those in our genetics, so it’s been a great run for NK farmers.”


CHS also expects the Enlist E3 platform to pick up, but likely not at the pace it will nationally because of 2,4-D’s ineffectiveness on kochia, prevalent through the Dakotas and moving west of I-29 and north and south. In that geography, Kauth expects XtendFlex soybeans to come back as growers have become more comfortable with glufosinate supply.


Growers should consider their decisions based on the variety and characteristics for the field where the seed is intended to be planted, over a trait-first mindset, Marc Hoobler, Northern Region Agronomy Lead with BASF, says.


“My belief is that all platforms on the market enable good weed control, so we’re trying to take that discussion to the variety level rather than the trait,” he says. BASF has begun collaborating with precision farming outfit Ag Ingenuity Partners to help achieve that goal. The company developed an algorithm based on various field characteristics such as organic matter, slope, CEC, and soil wetness to come up with what it calls a variety profile index, or VPI, which in turn helps BASF agronomists determine where to place varieties and how to manage them. “We have a collaborative mindset and are partnering with retail to deliver solutions farmers need. Keep in mind, BASF is the only major seed company who does not sell outside of retail. We are 100% committed to retail with the Xitavo brand.”


“That’s one advantage we have right now from a testing standpoint — we can provide more placement information to growers about our varieties than anyone else can about their varieties,” Hoobler adds.


“Knowledge becomes a point of differentiation and gives us confidence that we’re providing the right seed for the right acre.”


CHS’ Kauth acknowledges the challenges growers have from pests and disease to harvest schedule to varietal selection. “Someone that is going to walk them through that I think is really making the difference,” he says. “A lot of people are asking for their business. To separate yourself a little bit, we really strive to be that advisory role.”


That desire for service, and more choice, is one of the reasons Brevant launched in the U.S. exclusively to the retail channel in 2020.


Corteva sees (Brevant) as one of largest growth opportunities in the business just because that space of retail and we see people moving in that direction. We’ve set some pretty lofty goals but we’ve been moving through them and hitting targets all along the way,” Curry says.


In many businesses, the ratio is four to one sales to agronomy, but Brevant built its business the opposite direction offering more local boots on the ground to offer agronomic support and product knowledge for retail customers. The approach has worked “tremendously well,” he explains.


“We want to give customers the opportunity to buy where they want. Obviously, we see a huge value in retail, because they are the local expert. Ag is getting more complicated every year as far as the trait offering, the herbicide programs, and diseases we’re seeing — tar spot blew up in the last year or two. Retailers are the local expert and understands the business holistically,” he adds. “In a lot of cases, it’s not a relationship of a year or two — it’s a relationship of generations. The retailer inherently understands that farm and is able to offer the best products for that individual.”

Breakthrough in CRISPR research may lead to more effective and safer gene editing

University of Copenhagen

The potential of CRISPR is huge and covers anything from deleting hereditary diseases to producing crops able to withstand climate change.


10 years ago we saw a breakthrough in modern biology.


An American scientist discovered that manipulation of the Cas9 protein resulted in a gene technology worthy of a sci-fi film: CRISPR. 


Think of it as a pair of molecular scissors capable of cutting and editing the DNA of humans, animals, plants, bacteria and viruses.


The potential is huge and covers anything from deleting hereditary diseases to producing crops able to withstand climate change.


However, like any other new technology, CRISPR has had its challenges. One of the main challenges has been to make the technology as effective as possible and to make sure the scissors only cut where we want them to.


“We have described new mechanisms behind CRISPR”

Two new studies from the University of Copenhagen conducted together with researchers from Aarhus University can help solve these problems.


“We have described new mechanisms behind CRISPR,” says Professor of Bioinformatics Jan Gorodkin from the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences and elaborates:


“We are now able to explain why some off-targets, which is unintended cuts elsewhere in the genome, are more effective than on-targets, which is the cut at the intended place. We have also learned how different DNA sequences around the on-target can impact how efficiently the Cas9 protein cuts the DNA. Hopefully, this knowledge will pave the way for more effective and safer use of CRISPR.”

How does CRISPR work? Illustration: Liva.


So how does CRISPR work? First, a scientist will design a piece of synthetic RNA called the guide RNA. This is then attached to the Cas9 protein which will perform the task of cutting the DNA. The guide RNA scouts for the matching DNA section. Once the guide RNA has found the right spot, Cas9 will cut the DNA string. Now the scientist is able to insert any synthetic piece of DNA into the vacated spot.


If Cas9 and the guide RNA hit the target, the scientists refer to it as being on target; if they hit another place, they are off target.


Today, CRISPR is in the context of medicine mainly used to study how genes and drugs work in the laboratory and is still not widely used in human treatment. However, in the long term, the idea is to use CRISPR in the treatment of certain genetic diseases.


Mystery of effective off-targets solved


In one of the two new studies, the researchers sought to determine the best way for the guide RNA to attach to the DNA, making the cut as effective as possible – because if the cut is not sufficiently effective, the scientists will not be able to edit the DNA.


“We already know that CRISPR does not really work when the bond between the guide RNA and the DNA is too weak. Now we have learned that too strong a bond is problematic too,” says Professor Jan Gorodkin and adds:


“In both cases, the gene scissors are too weak and ineffective.”


The researchers then identified an interval where the bond between the guide RNA and the DNA is neither too strong nor too weak, but just right, resulting in scissors with perfect sharpness.

“We found far more off-targets than we would have been able to using existing methods
Professor Jan Gorodkin

“Interestingly, this observation can also be used to explain why some off-targets show stronger CRISPR activity than their intended on-targets – that is, why the scissors are sharper for some off-targets than for the on-targets,” Jan Gorodkin explains. He adds: 

“This is because too strong on-targets do not fall within the right binding energy interval. But if you remove some of the energy from these strong bonds, which is what is happening at the off-target sites, you are able to get into the interval right, resulting in a more powerful effect and thus a shaper scissor at the off-targets.”


The study has also identified the optimal position of the Cas9 protein for achieving the most effective cut.

Before Cas9 is able to cut the DNA, the protein must bind to a specific part of the DNA string. DNA consists of four different nucleotides: A, C, G and T, and Cas9 can only bind to a sequence with two consecutive G nucleotides.


Now the researchers have identified the effect on Cas9 of multiple consecutive G nucleotides – a situation where it is hard to hit the target because every two consecutive G’s compete for binding with Cas9.  

“When there are several G’s ‘upstream’, that is, before the sequence that Cas9 was intended to bind to, the cut will be more effective. But when there are several G’s ‘downstream’, that is, after the intended sequence for Cas9 to bind to, the cut is less efficient”, explains Postdoc Giulia Corsi.


Giulia Corsi hopes the new knowledge into how CRISPR works will make it easier to identify the correct position of Cas9 in the future. This should also help minimise the number of potential side effects.

“We would like to be able to predict the cut, improve target editing and eliminate off-targets, which complicate the development of new drugs by requiring lots of resources and can result in side effects that occur when you cut the wrong gene,” says Giulia Corsi.


Off-targets can be harmful – and they are under-researched


The second study focusses on off-targets. Here the researchers developed a method for measuring the effectivity of off-targets.


To quality-control a CRISPR experiment, scientists will usually select a smaller number of computer-predicted off-targets for testing. Using the new technology, however, they will be able to test a much larger number of off-targets, and this is expected to speed up the development of new drugs with fewer side effects.


Using the new method, the researchers tested 8,000 potential off-targets for 110 CRISPR guide RNAs in the process of being translated into human medicine. They found that around 10 percent of the 8,000 potential off-targets were in fact off-targets.

I would argue – and some may disagree – that off-targets are extremely under-researched
Professor Jan Gorodkin

“We found far more off-targets than we would have been able to using existing methods,” Jan Gorodkin explains.


Furthermore, 37 of these off-targets are located in cancer related genes, which increases the risk that developing drugs will become harder or even impossible. In addition, unintended cuts in these genes may even lead to cancer as a possible side-effect.


“Researchers need to be able to identify such off-targets and select other guide-RNAs which do not have these or any other critical off-target,” says Jan Gorodkin. 


Great need for more research into off-targets

According to Jan Gorodkin, this shows that there is a great need for more research into off-targets.


“I would argue – and some may disagree – that off-targets are extremely under-researched. My impression is that existing studies on gene editing often lack the complete tools and analyses required to show that there are no off-target effects in their studies,” he says.

According to Jan Gorodkin, the new method will have great impact in the future to better check studies for off-targets.


“In the past 10 years, we have taken a big step towards being able to edit the genome. Now we are in the process of making our methods better, safer and more effective. The latter also supports the green transition, as genome modifications, e.g. of cells used in production, can lead to more cost-effective utilisation of resources,” Jan Gorodkin concludes.


The two studies were conducted in close cooperation with Associate Professor Yonglun Luo’s research team at Aarhus University and collaborators in China and USA. The study “CRISPR/Cas9 gRNA activity depends on free energy changes and on the target PAM context” and “Massively targeted evaluation of therapeutic CRISPR off-targets in cells" can be read in Nature Communications.


The research received funding from several places in particular the Independent Research Fund Denmark, Innovation Fund Denmark and the Novo Nordisk Foundation.


National Corn Growers Association release


Following repeated calls from the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) asking the Biden administration to respond to plans by Mexico to block imports of biotech corn, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai met virtually on Thursday with Mexico's Secretary of Economy, Raquel Buenrostro. During the meeting, Tai talked about the importance of avoiding a disruption in U.S. corn exports.


"We applaud Ambassador Tai for listening to corn grower leaders and sharing our concerns with the leadership in Mexico," said NCGA President Tom Haag. "But, given the magnitude of Mexico's threats and the fact that the embargo is set to be fully implemented by 2024, we need USTR to resolve the impasse as soon as possible by filing a dispute under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)."


The dispute centers around Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's decree that would end imports of corn grown using biotech and certain herbicides by 2024. Biotech corn makes up over 90% of U.S. corn crops. One recent estimate projected a 30% increase in the price of tortillas in Mexico from the embargo.


NCGA has strongly encouraged USTR to file a dispute under the agriculture chapter of USMCA, which calls for cooperation between members on an individual government's regulation of imports. An op-ed by Haag was recently published in The Hill, a newspaper widely read by Washington policymakers and decision-makers. Corn grower leaders also continue raising the issue with lawmakers and major media outlets.


A USMCA dispute settlement would allow for extensive debate and mediation that could head off a calamitous outcome.


Source: American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America news release


The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America have launched a new online site called Decode 6 which provides free educational resources in carbon and ecosystem services for people in the agricultural and environmental sectors. Decode 6 is the source for unbiased, science-based information to evaluate today's opportunities in carbon and ecosystem services practices and markets.


Carbon programs and markets are cropping up around the United States, and agricultural stakeholders are finding it difficult to find trusted sources for information about these programs. In 2021, ASA, CSSA, and SSSA began work on building a source for unbiased, science-based information to evaluate today's opportunities in carbon and ecosystem services practices and markets-which is now called Decode 6.


Decode 6-named for carbon, the 6th element on the periodic table-is a free, accessible online site that helps those interested in adopting carbon programs or creating policy to help curb climate change and evaluate the science behind the practices. The program seeks to answer the key questions that ag retailers, conservation and carbon sequestration nonprofits, startups, technology providers, ag retailers, seed providers, and equipment providers are asking.


"In this emerging area that is surrounded by hype, gaps in knowledge, and entities looking to profit, it's especially important that we provide a tool that will allow individuals to make the best, most informed decisions while recognizing uncertainties," Seth Murray, CSSA President-Elect, says. "I am excited that ASA, CSSA, and SSSA are leading the way with Decode 6 to inform farmers, land managers, policymakers, conservationists, industry, and the public about carbon sequestration and ecosystem services in an unbiased way."


After media personalities like John Oliver and investigative journalists at outlets like ProPublica tackle the problems surrounding carbon sequestration, both farmers and the public are left wondering: Do carbon markets really work? And how do we sift the wheat from the chaff-the ones based in science and research from those that fail to meet our climate goals?


"The pinch point in adoption for many of these carbon programs is education," Chris Boomsma, the Director of Science & Strategy for Decode 6, says. "Decode 6 is in a key position to provide unbiased, accessible, scientific information for farmers and their trusted advisers."


With over $2.8 billion in recent USDA investments in Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities, information about the science behind carbon sequestration and ecosystem services will be invaluable to project participants and implementers.


Covering six key topic areas, including carbon, markets and economics, water, nutrients, biodiversity, and climate, Decode 6 will provide bite-sized, science-based sources of information in question-and-answer format. Podcasts, videos, and short articles seek to answer exactly the questions farmers are asking when it comes to putting agricultural and ecosystem service practices into play.


"Going down the rabbit-hole of lengthy, peer-reviewed not always practical for most farmers," says Nate Salpeter, a farmer and co-founder of Sweet Farm. "What excites me most about the Decode 6 launch is that there will now be a location where farmers can get short- and medium-format information from researchers across complex topics. It creates access to information to improve land stewardship across many different regions around the world, not just here in the United States."


Decode 6 aims to provide short, timely explainer documents to important decisionmakers like policymakers and government leaders. These groups are often engaged on issues of agriculture, food, forestry, natural resources, and environmental protection-key resources. As USDA and other government entities seek to meet climate goals through innovation in the agricultural sector, they'll find resources on that briefly and concisely explain the issues of the day, giving them the background information they need to make informed decisions and guide policy development.


"It's a huge opportunity for Decode 6 to leverage the interest in carbon right now to provide holistic information not just for farmers, but for everyone in the agronomic space," says Dianna Bagnall, a research soil scientist at the Soil Health Institute. "In the long run, we're going to find that carbon is really important, but it's part of the bigger picture-this platform will help support practices that improve the ecosystem services of our agricultural systems, too."


About American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, Crop Science Society of America


Collectively, these Societies represent more than 12,000 individual members around the world. Members are researchers and professionals in the areas of growing our world's food supply while protecting our environment. Together we work toward solutions to advance scientific knowledge in the areas of agronomy, crop science, and soil science.

Texas Seed Trade Association |