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Students Lead Plant Breeding SymposiumStudents from across the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences departments lead the annual Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)
Feb 09

TSTA Weekly Update, 02/09/2023

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.


Our room block is full. If you need a room please call the association office and we'll do our best to get the group rate for you! This is actually a good thing as it means we are looking forward to excellent attendance at our annual meeting!

We look forward to seeing you!


Please Click Here for the draft agenda (It's been revised - again!)


Participants & Sponsors Meeting Registration & Sponsorship


Hotel Room BlockTexas Seed Trade Assoc. Annual Conference 2023


Thank you RiceTec, Turner Seed Company, Richardson Seeds, Ltd., Nufarm, and TriCal for you generous sponsorship!


These companies, universities, and government agencies will be represented at the conference:


Turner Seed Co., Scott Seed Co., Watley Seed Co., RiceTec, Warner Seeds, Bag Supply Texas, Pogue Agri Partners, Trinity Logistics, Justin Seed Co., Caudill Seed Co., Bamert Seed Co., Richardson Seeds, Ltd., East Texas Seed Co., Frontier Hybrids, TriCal Superior Forages, Nufarm, Browning Seed Co., Texas Department of Transportation, USDA Plant Material Centers (3), South Texas Natives, Texas Native Seeds, Texas AgriLife and Texas A&M University, Texas Foundation Seeds, Texas Tech University, and the Texas Department of Agriculture.


Why don't you join them? It's a fabulous agenda and it's going to be interesting. 

Please don't forget to bring auction/raffle items for the scholarship fundraiser on Monday evening at the President's Reception & Dinner!

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!


2/9/2023 - 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


USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) indicated that, "Brazil 2022/23 corn exports (Oct-Sep) are forecast to equal those of the United States at 51 million tons on expanding production and strong exports in the second half of its 2021/22 marketing year (Mar 2022-Feb 2023).


Brazil corn exports have exceeded those of the United States only one other time, in the drought year of 2012/13. Since October 2022, Brazil has exported about 25 million tons of corn, far exceeding the same period in any prior year.


In contrast, U.S. corn exports have been off to a slow start. Production in 2022/23 was smaller than initially forecast and logistical concerns on the Mississippi River in the months after harvest kept U.S. prices elevated and volumes low, especially as U.S. corn competed with competitively priced supplies from other exporters.


Three Western seed producers have suspended sunflower seed shipments to Russia and paused customers' bids for purchases, the Izvestia newspaper reported on Monday, citing letters received by several Russian agricultural firms.


According to the report, Germany's Bayer, Swiss agrochemicals group Syngenta and seed firm Nuseed have suspended contracts with some Russian customers and revised prices.


9th annual Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium set for February 16 - Student-run event highlights generations of plant breeding

Texas A&M release


The ninth-annual Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium will take place Feb. 16 in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center on the Texas A&M University campus. The center is located at 1002 W. George Bush Drive, Bryan-College Station.

The ninth annual Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium will honor the significant advances and breeders with the theme Legacies: Generations of Plant Breeding. (Texas A&M illustration by Serina Taluja)


The one-day research conference is for students, faculty and private industry researchers from across the country studying plant breeding, genetics and related sciences.


The free event will begin with registration at 7:30 a.m., followed by the program from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be free parking by the Annenberg Center for everyone with any TAMU parking pass.


To register, go to The event also will be livestreamed via Zoom, but registration is required for webinar access. A link will be sent to registered attendees who will be off campus the day of the event.


The symposium is supported by the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, the Department of Horticultural Sciences and the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, all within Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Department of Biology and Institute for Genome Sciences and Society at Texas A&M.


Legacies: Generations of Plant Breeding

The symposium’s theme this year is “Legacies: Generations of Plant Breeding,” to highlight research being done by breeders in different stages of their careers.


“We will have breeders talking about their accomplishments, how they set up their breeding program, how they expect their programs to change with the future, and any inspiration or advice they have for young plant breeders,” said Kayla Beechinor, a doctoral student in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences’ plant breeding program who is the chair for this year’s conference.


Beechinor said this year, they are holding multiple oral presentation competitions and poster presentation competitions. The goal of the event is to educate future plant breeders through networking with leaders in plant breeding research.


On the agenda


Keynote speakers include:

— Marcio Resende, Ph.D., sweet corn breeder and assistant professor in horticultural sciences, University of Florida.

— Jason Morales, Ph.D., corn breeder, Corteva Agriscience.

— Kate Evans, apple breeder and professor of horticulture, Washington State University.

— Jim Holland, Ph.D., corn breeder and plant science research geneticist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Raleigh, North Carolina.

— Bill Rooney, Ph.D., sorghum breeder, Regents Professor and Borlaug-Monsanto Chair for Plant Breeding and International Crop Improvement, Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crops Sciences.

Additionally, three Texas A&M graduate students include:

— Yilin Zhu, Department of Horticultural Sciences.

— Andrew Horgan, Department of Horticultural Sciences.

— Qing Li, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. 

There also will be three travel scholars representing various universities, including:

— Enzo Unzain Moreno, Kansas State University.

— Andrew Herr, Washington State University.

— Molly Irvin, Michigan State University.


Additionally, 20 students from Texas A&M will participate in the student poster competition at the symposium.

On Feb. 17, a Q&A session will be held at noon with the speakers at the Plant Breeders Circle seminar in the Heep Center, Room 440, on campus.


Student leaders


The student-run event is designed to enhance leadership and organization skills of future plant breeders.

Students from across the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences departments lead the annual Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)


In addition to Beechinor, this year’s organizing committee includes Ze Fang, doctoral student, molecular and environmental plant sciences; Hsiu-An Chou, master’s student, molecular and environmental plant sciences; Roly Malaker, doctoral student, plant breeding; Haramrit Gill, doctoral student, horticulture; Ilksen Topcu, doctoral student, plant pathology and microbiology; and Noah Winans, doctoral student, plant breeding.


The Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and is a part of the Corteva Agriscience Plant Sciences Symposia Series, which connects similar events at universities around the world. Presenting partners also include Advanta, Corteva Agriscience, Texas AgriScience LLC, Texas Peanut Producers, Qualterra and National Sorghum Producers.


For more information about the symposium, email the graduate student organizing committee at .

Oatly pioneers carbon impact labels on food. Is this unregulated junk science or useful information?

Genetic literacy Project


Four of its so-called Oatgurts are now carrying an eco-label intended to help consumers “compare the climate impact of different products right in the grocery aisle the same way they can see the labeling of fat, sugar, and other nutritional information.” Oatly says it plans to add the label to 12 more products by 2025, including its popular oatmilks and more obscure items, such as its line of Dipped Bars. In the meantime, the climate impacts of all 16 products can be seen online at


Oatly seems to have anticipated suspicious consumers, at least partly. Its webpage for the labels explains: “We decided to go ahead and declare the climate footprint of our products in the most transparent and complete way we think is currently possible,” meaning as kilograms of CO2e per kilogram of product, “then share more information about the calculations on this webpage.”


There is, though, one big difference between climate labels and nutrition facts labels: The latter are carefully controlled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. Climate claims mirror other unregulated claims like “all-natural” or “free range”—there’s no consensus yet for determining if products are what they say they are, or even for how to print the data on packages.


Editor's Note: Data released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirms that there has been no measurable increase in Earth's temperatures in the last eight years and five months. Just the facts. During this same time period global carbon dioxide emissions are estimated at 475 billion tons - yes billion with a "B." Thus for at least the last eight years and five months there is zero correlation between CO2 emissions and global temperatures. It just could be that placing your carbon scorecard on your products is marketing and only marketing.

Better News for Texas Weather Outlook

TSTA staff


There has never been four straight years of La Nina since records have been kept beginning in 1882. The current La Nina is nudging at four years old and that's generally not a good sign for Texas' agricultural interests.


As hard as it is to grasp, at least for me, the equatorial Pacific Ocean currents, influenced by both the northerly ans southerly trade winds, have a big impact on Texas weather - particularly rainfall. The Pacific Ocean equatorial surface flow is east to west and begins of the northwest shoulder of South America. When the surface temperatures are cool, La Nina conditions exist. When warmer, El Nino conditions dominate. Despite all the talk of global warming the Pacific Ocean has been on the cold side for the last four years - at least on the surface layers.


According to the latest prognosticators La Nina is fading and may give way to "neutral" conditions, being neither La Nina or El Nino, by July or August this summer. After that is anyone's guess but we'd sure welcome El Nino for the rains it tends to bring to Texas and the U.S. Southwest.


It may be along time to wait for rain, or "regular" rains, whatever those are, but we'll take anytime it comes.


USDA Release


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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.