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The Year of Millets2023 - The Year of Millets
Jan 12

TSTA Weekly Update, 01/12/2023

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association
Member News

Membership renewals were mailed several weeks ago. A big Thank You to those companies who have already renewed for 2023! Please check the mail for your membership renewal and member certificate and renew your support for the Texas Seed Trade as soon as you are able.

2023 Annual Membership Meeting Registration & Hotel Reservations


We are excited to return to Horseshoe Bay Resort for the 2023 Texas Seed Trade Association Annual Meeting, February 12th through February 14th. Join us for the 2nd Annual Scholarship Corn Hole Tournament and annual Super Bowl Party Sunday afternoon. Monday’s General Session will feature officer and board elections, a report on the state of the association, industry speakers and topics important to our business. The president for 2023 will host a dinner and auction that evening. The TSTA board will meet Tuesday morning and is open to all members in good standing.

We look forward to seeing you!


Please Click Here for the draft agenda


Participants & Sponsors Meeting Registration & Sponsorship


Hotel Room BlockTexas Seed Trade Assoc. Annual Conference 2023

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!


1/12/2023 - 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!

News Bits



Feedstuffs reports:


Two Dubai entities and several individuals were charged in an indictment unsealed in the District of Maryland recently for their roles in a multimillion-dollar scheme to export non-organic grain into the United States to be sold as certified organic.


Hakan Agro DMCC and Hakan Organics DMCC, both based in Dubai, and Goksal Beyaz, Nuray Beyaz and Mustafa Cakiroglu, all of Turkey, were each charged with conspiracy, smuggling, and wire fraud. An initial appearance for Hakan Agro and Hakan Organics was held on Jan. 5 in the District of Maryland.


The indictment alleges that between November 2015 and May 2017, the defendants operated a scheme where Hakan Agro, Hakan Organics and associated entities would purchase non-organic soybeans and corn from Eastern Europe before having it shipped to the United States as "organic." This scheme allowed the defendants to charge the higher prices associated with organic grains as organic grains often cost as much as 50% more than conventional grains.


To read the entire report click here.


Source: Agri Marketing magazine


In a recent Agri-Marketers' Poll, nearly three quarters of the 118 respondents reported their organizations are benefitting from today's commodity market prices.


Here is the question and responses:


How have the robust commodity prices impacted your organization?


*Very positively...56%


*Somewhat positively...22%


*No impact...17%


*Somewhat negatively...5%


*Very negatively...0%


The Agri-Marketers' Poll is a service from Agri Marketing magazine.

Let’s welcome the International Year of Millets!



High in nutritional value and vitamins, cereal crops and millets form the leading group of field crops, providing staple food for most of the earth’s population.


The United Nations General Assembly at its 75th session in March 2021 declared 2023 the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023). FAO is the lead agency for celebrating the Year in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders. Millets can grow on arid lands with minimal inputs and are resilient to changes in climate. They are therefore an ideal solution for countries to increase self-sufficiency and reduce reliance on imported cereal grains. 


#IYM2023 will be an opportunity to raise awareness of, and direct policy attention to the nutritional and health benefits of millets and their suitability for cultivation under adverse and changing climatic conditions. The Year will also promote the sustainable production of millets, while highlighting their potential to provide new sustainable market opportunities for producers and consumers.


Euroseeds welcomes the International Year of Millets initiative and will actively contribute to raise awareness and spread the benefits related to these crops.

The Philippines - Malusog Rice (Golden Rice) harvested

Philippine Rice Research Institute


More than 100 tons fresh paddy of beta carotene-enriched Malusog Rice have been harvested this wet season in 17 pioneer production sites across the country.


The first harvest will be milled for distribution in target households with pre-school children identified at-risk for vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and undernutrition, as well as pregnant and lactating mothers.


Grateful for the harvest, Antique Gov. Rhodora Cadiao said that Malusog Rice can be one of the ways to address the province’s VAD problem among pre-school and school children.


VAD could lead to poor eyesight and weak immune systems that make children prone to viral infections and other diseases, delayed growth and development.

Farmer-cooperators also showed their support and delight as among the first to produce Malusog Rice in their respective provinces.


“As I have observed, Golden Rice (GR) has good quality of seeds, and I want to taste it already. It also has good characteristics in terms of its elongated stem. I was encouraged to be a cooperator of GR to help the government minimize cases of malnutrition,” Leo Franco Ebardo, seed grower in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur, said.


The said province has one of the highest incidences of malnutrition in the country according to the Expanded National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute.


Distribution activities were conducted in partnership with Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and local government units in Catanduanes.


Malusog Rice (Golden Rice) is branded after its first variety registered in the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) as Malusog 1 or NSIC 2022 Rc 682GR2E.

DA-PhilRice and IRRI, in collaboration with partner agencies, are currently multiplying the seeds for commercial production. The current supply will be used for promotion and initial distribution in provinces with high incidence of malnutrition, especially vitamin A deficiency.


Malusog Rice is expected to be fully commercialized at the latter part of 2024 once more seed supply becomes available.


Editor's Note: This has been a long row to hoe. Golden Rice has actually been harvested!

Molecular mechanism behind nutrient element-induced plant disease resistance discovered​​​

American Phytopathological Society release


Just like humans can't subsist on a diet of only French fries and brownies, plants must also consume a balanced diet to maintain optimal health and bolster their immune responses. Nutrient element uptake is necessary for plant growth, development, and reproduction. In some cases, treatment with essential elements has been shown to induce plant disease resistance, but conclusive research on the molecular basis of this remedy has been limited.


In one of the few studies to directly investigate the mechanism underlying the effect of essential elements on plant disease resistance, Rupali Gupta of Volcani Institute and colleagues demonstrate that nutrient elements activate immune responses in tomato plants through different defense signaling pathways.


Their paper, recently published in Phytopathology, outlines the molecular mode of action that potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium take to minimize both fungal and bacterial plant diseases. Using straightforward laboratory methods, the authors demonstrate that essential element spray treatment sufficiently activates immune responses in tomato—including defense gene expression, cellular leakage, reactive oxygen species production, and ethylene production—leading to disease resistance. Their results suggest that different defense signaling pathways are required for induction of immunity in response to different elements.


Understanding the genetic mechanism underlying this process may provide new insights into crop improvement. Corresponding author Maya Bar comments, “We are excited to probe the molecular basis of this phenomenon, define another facet of induced resistance, and provide data that will assist in applying this principle to agricultural systems in a more purposeful, reproducible manner."


The tenets of mineral nutrient-induced disease resistance discovered in this study can be exploited in agricultural practices—benefiting growers/farmers and protecting valuable crops.


For additional details, read Nutrient Elements Promote Disease Resistance in Tomato by Differentially Activating Immune Pathways published in Vol. 112, No. 11 November 2022 of Phytopathology.


Jan. 11, 2023


National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) reports:


USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the U.S. won't back down or compromise on its stance against Mexico's plan to ban imports of genetically modified yellow corn. Vilsack made those comments while speaking to reporters during the American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Meanwhile, President Biden is in Mexico City for the "three amigos summit" meeting with Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The three leaders plan to meet for two days of talks.


Vilsack met with top Mexican officials and with Mexico's president ahead of Biden's trip and said he the U.S. won't be able to find enough non-GMO corn to import and feed the country's livestock sector. Vilsack said the larger issue is about a trading system with "less friction," not more friction.


Vilsack added that he had warned President Lopez Obrador that the U.S. will bring a USMCA dispute settlement case against Mexico, if needed. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has also spoken with her Mexican counterpart about the dispute.


"I did have a conversation with Ambassador Tai, and I think we are on track to provide a response at some point in time in the near future, to Mexico. And then, based on our final analysis and their response, we'll take the next steps as appropriate, but we're not quite there, yet," said Vilsack.


He says the American government is supposed to reply by Jan. 15 to Mexico's proposal to delay the ban until 2025.


Almost three billion dollars a year, on average, or a quarter of U.S. corn exports went to Mexico during the last ten years, including almost $5 billion in 2021 alone.

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