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Genome editing is used in 63 different cropsGenome editing is used in 63 different crops
Jun 02

TSTA Weekly Update 06/02/2022

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association
Member News
Registration is officially open for ASTA’s new Leadership Summit, June 25-29 in Indianapolis! Make plans now to send your team to a professional development, advocacy and training opportunity that will benefit your company and your industry for years to come.
For more information, including the latest schedule of events, visit the conference webpage.
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!
6/2/22 - 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!
If you are a certified wheat seed producer and have an interest in participating in re-certification procedures this season please contact Jerrett Stork, Certified Seed Coordinator, Texas Department of Agriculture, at the Giddings Seed Lab as soon as possible. Jarrett can be reached at 979-542-3691. Plan on contacting your local TDA inspector concurrently as it may expedite the process.
News Bits
U.S. corn and soybean planting is close to normal after the slow start to the season. Still, delays due to wet weather persist in some areas, including northern portions of the Midwest and Plains.
The USDA says that as of Sunday, 86% of the corn crop is planted, compared to the five-year average of 87%, with 61% emerged, compared to 68% on average.
66% of soybeans are planted, compared to 67% normally in late May, with 39% emerged, compared to 43% on average.
29% of U.S. winter wheat is called good to excellent, 1% above a week ago, with 72% of the crop headed, compared to 76% on average.
73% of spring wheat is planted, compared to the five-year average of 92%, with just 42% emerged, compared to 69% on average.
68% of cotton is planted, compared to 64% typically this time of year, with 7% squaring, matching the normal pace, and 44% of the crop is in good to excellent, 1% more than a year ago.
95% of rice is planted, compared to the five-year average of 94%, with 79% emerged, compared to 81% on average, and 71% rated good to excellent, a week-to-week gain of 1%.
24% of U.S. pastures and rangelands are good to excellent, 2% higher.
Source: Agri Marketing magazine
14 companies with a significant presence in agriculture were included in Fortune magazine's 2021 listing of the 500 largest U.S. corporations.
Those companies include (2021 $billion revenues...% change...2020 ranking):
38. Archer Daniel Midlands: $71...+33%...51
71. Merck: $51...+7%...65
81. Tyson Foods: $47...9%...73
80. Nationwide: $47...+13%...76
84. John Deere: $44...+24%...88
90. TIAA/CREF: $40...(3%)...78
98. CHS: $38...+35%...103
232. Land O'Lakes: $16...+14%...219
237. Corteva Agriscience: $16...+10%...214
294. Tractor Supply Co.: $13...+20%...291
295. The Andersons: $13...+55%...366
305. Mosaic: $12...+42%...346
334. AGCO: $11...+22%...351
382. Seaboard: $9...+30%...406
440. Zoetis: $8...+17%...431
The five largest U.S. based companies were (2021 revenues in U.S. $ billions...% change from 2020):
1. Walmart: $573...+2%
2. Amazon: $470...+22%
3. Apple: 366...+33%
4. CVS Health: $292...+9%
5. UnitedHealthGroup: 288...+12%
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed into law yesterday House Substitute for SB 261, also known as the fake meat labeling bill. The KLA-supported bill already had been passed by both the House and Senate.
As of July 1, the new law will require producers of alternative meat products that use meat terms to include a disclaimer indicating the product does not contain meat on the label in a prominent and conspicuous font size in close proximity to the meat term.
Disclaimers can include vegetarian, vegan, meatless, meat-free, plant-based or other terms approved by the Kansas secretary of agriculture as appropriate. Without such disclaimers, the product will be considered misbranded.
While overall U.S. dairy consumption remained flat from 1979 to 2019, daily cheese consumption more than doubled, according to loss-adjusted food availability data from the USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS), which adjusts the amount of basic commodities available in the food supply for food spoilage, plate waste, and other losses to more closely approximate actual consumption.
Overall U.S. dairy consumption remained roughly the same over this 40-year period, at just under 1.5 cup-equivalents of dairy products per person per day. However, daily cheese consumption grew to 0.72 cup-equivalents per person in 2019 from 0.34 cup-equivalents per person in 1979. Yogurt consumption grew almost fivefold to 0.05 cup-equivalents per person.
Fluid milk consumption stood at 0.5 cup-equivalents per person in 2019, down from 0.9 cup-equivalents per person in 1979. Several factors contributed to this decline, including competition from alternative beverages, an aging population with differing preferences across generations, and changing consumer attitudes regarding milk fats.
Genome editing is used in 63 different crops
EU-SAGE news release, Belgium
New breeding techniques like genome editing allow scientists to specifically adjust the plant’s own DNA, making the plants more resilient to changing environmental conditions. To illustrate that, EU-SAGE published today an interactive genome-edited crops database. The database shows that genome editing is used in a wide variety of crops to improve diverse characteristics, many of which can contribute to more sustainable agriculture.
Since the development of the Nobel prize winning CRISPR-Cas genome editing technique for plants, many researchers have adopted worldwide genome editing in research and breeding activities to develop improved crop varieties. However, what is the latest status of scientific advancement in this exciting field of plant research?
The EU-SAGE database represents state-of-the-art scientific evidence of worldwide genome editing applications in crops for agricultural production. It contains currently more than 500 entries, and the database will be frequently updated with the latest scientific studies.
Different elements including the plant species and trait can be filtered in the interactive database, which will help to address specific questions and to support conclusions relevant in future policy discussions about this plant breeding innovation.
Key takeaways from the database:
  • Genome editing applications were identified in more than 60 different crops with the vast majority in rice, tomato, maize, soybean, and wheat
  • The traits of the improved crops are diverse and relevant for farmers (e.g., agronomic value) as well as consumers (e.g., nutrition)
  • Most of the genome editing applications are crops with targeted, small genetic changes similar to genetic changes introduced in crops with conventional breeding methods.
The applications in the database demonstrate that genome editing can contribute in the development of new crop varieties for more sustainable agriculture. However, R&D in Europe is lagging behind, mainly due to the current EU legislation, which determines that all genome-edited crop varieties are subject to strict GMO regulations. This EU GMO legislation makes it almost impossible to place such new crop varieties on the market for cultivation in the EU and acts as an insurmountable threshold for small and medium plant breeding companies to enter this market.
A consistent and proportionate legal framework, as already is in place in many other areas of the world, will foster the development of genome-edited crops for the EU market by public institutions and the plant breeding sector.
The database can be consulted at the website of EU-SAGE: and a summary about the database has been published in the scientific journal ‘Trends in Plant Science’ (Copy paste this link in your browser to access the article:
EU-SAGE is a network representing plant scientists at 134 European plant science institutes and societies that have joined forces to provide information about genome editing and promote the development of European and EU member state policies that enable the use of genome editing for sustainable agriculture and food production (
By Jim Wiesemeyer
Fertilizer prices, led by CF Industries, fell in Thursday's trading. Nitrogen prices reportedly plunged 30%, partly due to demand destruction.
According to Bloomberg, the June spot price in Tampa, Florida, for ammonia nitrogen fertilizer settled at $1,000/metric ton, a 30% drop from May's $1,425/ton.
Southeast Asia and other places are seeing more buyers who are unwilling to pay the record high prices that were seen in April and May, and the cost of ammonia production has declined as European natural gas prices fell in Q2, Green Markets analyst Alexis Maxwell told Bloomberg.
Nitrogen Prices Surged 133% From 2021 to 2022
A recently report by the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M University shows higher input prices are having a larger impact on farmers than originally thought. That's after Texas A&M economists recently found nitrogen prices surged 133% in a year.
The latest report, compiled by Joe Outlaw, Ph.D., and Bart Fischer, Ph.D., co-directors of the AFPC, found
To view the complete report, click here.
Source: National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG)
Washington, D.C. - As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to decide whether to review a case that threatens federal preemption in the regulation of crop protection technologies, the National Association of Wheat Growers reiterates the need for the Administration to consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the policy changes and the far-reaching agriculture implications of the case.
On May 10, the U.S. Solicitor General (USG) issued a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny review of a case involving glyphosate labeling, arguing that federal pesticide registration and labeling requirements do not preclude states from imposing additional labeling requirements, even if those requirements run counter to federal findings. The new policy, as articulated by the USG, reverses longstanding federal policy.
On May 26, while testifying before the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, Secretary Tom Vilsack confirmed USDA had not been consulted on the Solicitor General's brief before it was issued.
"We believe it would be useful if the Administration consults with USDA on the ramifications of a patchwork approach to crop protection products," said NAWG President and Washington wheat farmer, Nicole Berg. "We encourage the Solicitor General to withdraw the brief and consult with USDA."
The dangerous reversal in position defies this federal statute, decreases access for farmers and other users to much-needed tools to produce food, fiber, and fuel safely and sustainably, and presents threats to science-based regulation and international trade.
As NAWG and more than 50 other organizations stated in a click here. we strongly urge the Administration to withdraw the brief and to consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the implications of this decision for food production, environmental sustainability, and science-based regulation.
About NAWG
NAWG is the primary policy representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America's growers, the industry and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 20 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at the national level. From their offices on Capitol Hill, NAWG's staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public.
Source: House Committee on Agriculture-Republican news release
WASHINGTON, DC - House Agriculture Committee Republican Leader Glenn "GT" Thompson issued the following statement today after U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a "framework" to address our nation's crippled food supply chain:
"Increasing spending on organic initiatives and rooftop gardens while placing misguided blame on corporations and agribusinesses will not increase domestic food production.
"Today's announcement blatantly ignores the skyrocketing inflation rates and input costs that are crushing America's producers, compounded by the Administration's burdensome regulatory overreach. There is no reason to use pandemic-related funds to 'transform' a food system that has long provided the safest, most affordable, and sustainable food and fiber supply in the world.
"If Secretary Vilsack were serious about solutions to help alleviate the emerging world food crisis, he would oppose President Biden's progressive agenda and advocate for all farmers and ranchers, and the consumers who depend on them."
Editor's Note: Check this same space in the Weekly Update from two weeks ago. Our sentiments exactly.
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