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Amarillo Golf Tournament and Sod Poodles GameDrew Morano, the Amarillo Golf Tournament and Sod Poodles Game
Jun 08

TSTA Weekly Update, 06/08/2023

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association

Member News


In Memory of John Travis (Jacko) Garrett, Jr.

January 26, 1943 – May 30, 2023


“As a man soweth, so shall he reap.” Gal 6:7


Jacko Garrett lived by this philosophy for 80 years, both personally and professionally. He believed whatever you put into something; you would reap the return. It was a simple way of thinking, yet being a farmer, and a faithful Christian, he knew “return” was subjective. The “reward” for Jacko was always the thrill of the crop, the excitement in the risk and the opportunity to learn something new about farming. His reward was providing a steady income to his employees, who he considered his family. His reward was growing a crop, that would ultimately feed people. The reward was being a good steward of the land and watching it prosper. Hence, sowing/reaping.


Jacko was raised in Danbury, TX and followed in his father’s footsteps of farming rice and

raising Brahman cattle. His father, John T (Jack) Garrett, farmed through the Depression, and through his own years of farming, he learned to understand there were not just seasons in the year, but seasons in the market, the economy, and the weather. Those pressures didn’t bother him, because he trusted the Lord and would say, “God always provides.” By that, it wasn’t about the money, or the success. It was always about the land and people. It was always about the opportunity to put in a hard day’s work and to feel proud of working in an industry with such good people.


In the early 1980’s, Jacko and his wife Nancy ventured into the seed rice business. They were looking to expand the family farm and Jacko had such an interest in seed quality, new varieties, seeding rates, and technologies, he knew he could spread his talents further, thus formed Garrett Seed Rice. On their logo, it quoted, “As a man soweth, so shall he reap.” Gal 6:7 Jacko loved to learn from other farmers, and every few years he would do what we would call the “Delta Tour”. He would either drive or fly his plane and just jump from farm to farm, asking questions, visiting with friends, or even pulling up to a farm that piqued his interest. He would spend the rest of the year thinking how he could apply those learnings into his own farm – laser leveling, stale seed bed planting, crop rotations, machinery, etc. People in the ag industry are amazing like that, they share a kinship that is based on work ethic, integrity, friendship, love of the land and the crops. They lend a helping hand when their neighbor needs it, without hesitation. Jacko would call this fellowship and being a Christian leader, by doing what we are all called to do – loving our neighbor.


Like his father, Jacko would look for ways to help use his farm, to help those in need. In 1999, Share The Harvest Foundation (STHF) was formed. Since then, along with manny generous people and partners in the industry, Share the Harvest has been helping to feed families in eighteen counties in Southeast Texas by providing rice to the Houston Food Bank. Although Southeast Texas is the primary focus, when supply has allowed, Share the Harvest has extended its reach to south Texas and the San Antonio Food Bank as well. Through the Share the Harvest Foundation, the Houston Food Bank has been able to distribute enough rice to provide more than 11 million servings each year.


To this day, the farming operation is still named Jacko & Nancy Garrett Farms. The continued success of this family farm is largely due to a group of men, that have given their entire lives to our family and our farm. It is because of them, that we are. It is because of their love, and service, that these men served as the pall bearers for both Jacko & Nancy in their death.


Jacko fought hard to live the last few years. Yet, regardless of the treatment or pain, until the very end when asked how he was doing, he always replied with, “too blessed not to smile.” Jacko was a trailblazer in the rice industry, yet he was a Christian leader for our family. His faith was strong, and no challenge was too big for God. Days before he passed, he told many, “just give it up to God, and He will provide.” “He did it with all his heart. So he prospered.” 2 Chronicles 31:21


Former Board Member & Associations: Former Owner/President of Eagle Lake Rice Dryer, Texas Rice Improvement Association, Texas Rice Council, US Rice Producers Group, Brazoria County Farm Bureau, Texas Seed Trade Association and American Seed Trade Association. Awards include: Top Rice Farming Operation in Texas 1992, National Rice Farmer of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, USA Rice Farmer of the Year. Member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Share The Harvest Foundation, P O Box 603, Danbury, TX 77534.


Jacko is survived by his wife Barbara, his daughters Traci LaChance (Paul) and Christy Jennings (Webb), grandchildren Garrett (Kara), Meagan (Kevin), Mary B, Lila, Alex (Deane) & Leslie, and his great-grandchildren Hayes, Robbie, Parker, Garrett “Hank”, Cohen, Brennan & Jaden.


Editor's Note: We are only too happy to share these fond and eloquent memories of professionals that have left a mark on our industry. We encourage you to send us news of important people, like Jacko, as Traci provided here. It is important we remember our view is clearer because we stand on the shoulders of giants that came before us. Please remember the Garrett family in your thoughts and prayers. Funeral and visitation information was sent previously via Special Edition.


To the Best Laid Plans!


It is difficult to envision, when planning an event in Amarillo four months out, that a contingency might include a rain-out. Nevertheless that is exactly what (largely) happened late last week. The golf outing lasted about 12 holes before the rain became persistent and thunder pealed across the course.


No need to tell our members on the High Plains that the area simply hasn't had a chance to dry out for the last month. Though is was not raining at game time the Sod Poodles game was called as it had been raining all afternoon and the field was obviously saturated. We have been issued a "credit" and will figure out how want to use that for a possible "do-over" in the near future.


Thanks to all who attended - we had an excellent turnout and it was great to see everyone!

Drew "I don't think the heavy stuff 's coming down for a couple of hours yet" Morano. Golf pro and organizer of the golf event. Thanks Drew!


Additional pics can be viewed on our Face Book page.

A meeting of the TSTA Board of Directors is scheduled for July 13-15, at the Horseshoe Bay Resort. If you have questions please contact the TSTA office.


Surveys are in, to ascertain the level of certified wheat seed carryover from last year, anticipated certified wheat that will be available for sale this year, and a listing of the most favored/best suited varieties - mailed to over 100 Texas seed sellers about two months ago. We have received over 70 of the surveys via return mail. We have not received any for almost two weeks leading us to conclude we've received as many as we're going to get.


The survey was designed to assist the Texas Foundation Seed Service, and others, to determine the potential need to enter a recertification process. Information supplied by survey respondents indicates the vast majority of Texas wheat seed suppliers and retailers do not anticipate a shortage of certified seed for well-adapted varieties in their respective geographies. Based on the survey results it would be difficult to justify petitioning the Texas Foundation Seed Service or the Texas State Seed & Plant Board for a recertification approval.


Interestingly, survey respondents from the Texas Rolling Plains and portions of far North Texas reported a number of Oklahoma State varieties among the more popular in their selling areas. It's too small a sample, and a non-scientific one as well, to draw any conclusions. It may be that certified wheat seed produced in Oklahoma may simply be more readily available in certain areas and was, perhaps, less prone to be grown under drought conditions and hence there's more of it in some places.

TSTA Legislative Update

TSTA staff


The 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature was characterized by an historic $33 billion budget surplus and a record number of bills filed. We've always maintained that the loneliest hallways in the Capitol are the result of a budget shortfall - and the opposite is true as well. When there's "extra" money the halls of the Capitol can be downright crowded. So it was this session.


There was also the relatively rare occurrences of the Texas House removing a member and the impeachment of the Attorney General. There were 8,345 bills filed this session and as Will Rogers so aptly put it "be thankful you're not getting all the government you're paying for." Of the 8,345 bills filed 1,258 bills and joint resolutions made their way to Governor Abbott's desk.


And then there's "Special Session."


On Wednesday, the Senate passed three border security related bills, 1S.B. 2 (Birdwell), 1S.B. 8 (Birdwell) and 1H.B. 2 (Guillen/Flores). The Senate amended 1H.B. 2, meaning the bill will need House approval if it is to pass. With the House adjourned sine die, the prospect of that happening appears to be very slim.


During any special session, legislators may file bills related to any subject whether or not they are included on the governor’s call. However, legislation that is not germane to the governor’s call cannot be considered.

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!


6/8/2023 - 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


The USDA's national corn condition rating fell over the past week. That was largely due to warm, dry weather in portions of the central and eastern Midwest.


As of Sunday, 64% of the U.S. corn crop is in good to excellent shape, 5% lower than the previous week, with 96% of the crop planted, compared to the five-year average of 91%, and 85% emerged, compared to 77% on average.


61% of soybeans are in good to excellent condition in the first rating of the season, with 31% rated fair. 91% of soybeans are planted, compared to the usual pace of 76%, and 74% have emerged, compared to 56% on average.


36% of winter wheat is called good to excellent, up 2%, with 82% headed, compared to 81% normally in early June, and 4% harvested, matching the five-year average.


64% of spring wheat is rated good to excellent, with 93% planted, in-line with the typical rate, and 76% emerged, compared to 74% on average.


71% of cotton is planted and 6% is squaring, both behind average, and 51% of the crop is reported as good to excellent, 3% more than last week.


88% of rice is planted, compared to 87% on average, with 70% of the crop seen as good to excellent, 2% less than a week ago.


49% of sorghum is planted, compared to the five-year average of 53%.


45% of U.S. pastures and rangelands are in good to excellent shape, a week-to-week improvement of 2%.


The USDA's weekly crop progress and condition reports run weekly through the end of November.


Brazilian farmers have begun harvesting the second crop of corn - known as "safrinha" - and expect production to reach 4 billion bushels (102 million metric tons), which would be a record and should drive the recovery of world ending stocks. The record crop, combined with price declines in the international market, has resulted in a 30% decline in the price of corn in the Brazilian market in recent months.


Crop sales, for both the 2022/23 soybean and corn crops, have occurred at a relatively slow pace, lagging historical levels for the same time period. The combination of lower corn prices and a shortage of storage capacity in Brazil will be issues to monitor closely as the harvest continues to advance into June and July.


Corn prices have fallen by nearly one-third in Brazil since April, as the country expects to harvest a record crop this season and markets seemingly have adjusted to the Ukraine-Russia war. In Campinas, São Paulo state, corn cash prices are below $5 per bushel, well below the highs of more than $8 per bushel in March 2022, according to data from the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics of "Luiz de Queiroz" College of Agriculture (Cepea/Esalq) at the University of São Paulo



EPA decision to tighten oversight of gene-edited crops draws mixed response

U.S. agency will require evidence that introduced traits don't increase health risks before exempting modified plants from regulation

ByErik Stokstad as appeared in Science


When the CRISPR gene editor landed in U.S. plant science labs a decade ago, allowing researchers to tweak a crop’s own DNA instead of pasting in foreign genes, hopes rose that it would pave the way for looser regulation of genetically modified crops. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave plant scientists much of their wish, exempting certain gene-edited changes to plants. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a tougher stance.


In a final rule published last week, EPA said that like USDA, it will exempt gene-edited plants from an in-depth review process if the change could have been achieved with conventional breeding. But under its mandate to ensure safety for humans and wildlife, EPA will still require developers to submit data showing that plants that have been gene edited to resist pests—for example, by producing more of a naturally occurring toxic protein—won’t harm other components of the plant’s ecosystem or sicken people.


The move clarifies the regulatory requirements for industry and provides valuable oversight, says Jennifer Kuzma of North Carolina State University, an expert on biotechnology and public policy. But an industry group says the new rule will stifle innovation.


Three federal agencies regulate genetically modified crops in the United States. USDA evaluates whether a biotech crop might harm agriculture by becoming a noxious weed, for example. EPA checks whether a “plant-incorporated protectant” might harm farmworkers or wildlife. And the Food and Drug Administration is responsible for food safety.


For more than 20 years, all three bodies have reviewed crops engineered to contain DNA from other species, an appraisal process that can take years and cost industry millions of dollars in testing. The extent of agency oversight has been unclear for gene-edited crops, in which DNA is modified but not moved between species.


Last year, USDA’s finalized rule limited its oversight. For example, researchers won’t need to ask for agency approval if they give a crop a trait that already exists naturally in a sexually compatible plant.


EPA announced on 25 May that it, too, will use the conventional breeding exemption for many gene-edited crops. But unlike USDA, the agency will require companies to submit confirmatory safety data, such as evidence that the changes don't increase pesticide levels beyond those found in food from conventional crops.


The agency says regulatory review will still be faster and cheaper for gene-edited crops compared with transgenic plants. But the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) worries that researchers who use conventional breeding—and have not previously needed to ask EPA for a regulatory review—will be dissuaded from adopting gene editing.


“EPA’s new rule adds bureaucratic layers of red tape,” ASTA Director Andy LaVigne said in a statement. “The ramifications of EPA’s policy for U.S. innovation are potentially widespread and significant, especially when it comes to impacts on small and medium-sized entities in the U.S.—particularly in fruits, vegetables and other small acreage crops. ... The cost[s] will ensure that only the largest of companies can afford to develop future innovations.”


Kuzma says EPA has struck a reasonable balance. “We need some sort of outside check to make sure that that the industry is thinking about risks to nontarget organisms and humans when it comes to pesticidal compounds. I feel better with the EPA looking at this.”


Editor's Note: This is a follow-on to a press release reprinted from ASTA in last week's Weekly Update. Sad news indeed.


Source: Mexico Minister of Economy news release


Mexico City -- The Government of Mexico received today a request from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to initiate consultations under Chapter 31 (dispute settlement) of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T- MEC), referring to the Decree of February 13, 2023, which establishes various actions regarding glyphosate and genetically modified corn.


USTR argues that certain provisions of said decree affect imports of corn from the United States to Mexico. Through a constructive dialogue, the Ministry of Economy, hand in hand with other dependencies of the Government of Mexico, will demonstrate with hard data and evidence that:


1) The exclusive use of native corn for the dough and the tortilla has no affectation or commercial interest for the United States, since Mexico produces twice as much white corn as it allocates to the tortilla, nothing less than the food base of the Mexicans. Instead, to the extent that this provision encourages Mexico to preserve its production with native seeds, it is paid in compliance with the environmental chapter of the TMEC, in which the three countries pledged to care for biodiversity.


2) That thanks to the new decree, the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) has been able to authorize new biotech corn seeds and reassess previous denials. It should be noted that corn imported from the United States is complementary and is intended for industrial use and animal feed.


3) That although the decree proposes that the industry and the forage sector transition from using genetically modified corn to non-genetically modified corn, this will not mean trade restrictions, as indicated in the USTR request for consultations. Far from it, the transition will take place gradually and sustainably, strengthening the competitiveness and productivity of the Mexican countryside in full respect of the international commitments signed by Mexico.


In the consultations that are about to begin, Mexico ratifies its commitment to promote a constructive dialogue through which the concerns of the United States are clarified and we reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. We hope that the good faith of all parties prevails in these consultations and that differences are addressed without involving other considerations beyond the strictly commercial ones. The strong commercial ties between both countries oblige us to act responsibly and with a high vision.



Source: USDA news release


WASHINGTON, - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued the following statement regarding today's announcement by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) that the United States has requested dispute settlement consultations with Mexico under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). These consultations are in regard to Mexico's agricultural biotechnology policies.


"USDA supports success for all farmers, and that means embracing fair, open, science- and rules-based trade. In this spirit, the USMCA was written to ensure that producers in all three countries have full and fair access to each other's markets," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.


"We fundamentally disagree with the position Mexico has taken on the issue of biotechnology, which has been proven to be safe for decades. Through this action, we are exercising our rights under USMCA while supporting innovation, nutrition security, sustainability, and the mutual success of our farmers and producers."


Today's announcement is the latest action USDA and USTR have taken to address the United States' concerns with Mexico's biotechnology policies. In March, USDA and USTR requested technical consultations with Mexico under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Chapter of the USMCA.


By Jim Wiesmeyer,


The Senate and House Ag committees are facing delays in drafting the next farm bill, and it is expected to be the most expensive farm bill to date, clocking in at around $1.5 trillion.


The process is "behind schedule" judging by past experiences with previous farm bills. Neither of the committees have established a timeline for crafting the legislation, although whispers have a draft coming before the August recess, or no later than September.


1. Budget issues


2. Debt ceiling negotiations


3. Updated CBO projections


To read entire report, Click Here




Source: AgriCapture news release


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- AgriCapture is issued the first-ever avoided grasslands conversion carbon credits in Texas through a partnership with the property's landowner and the Texas Agricultural Land Trust to protect soil carbon and ensure that the property's native grasslands will not be converted.


The credits were issued by the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), a globally trusted carbon market offset registry, to a Bailey County ranch. Located in the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle, the area is recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a New Dust Bowl Zone, where preserving native grassland habitats and preventing land use conversion is especially critical.


AgriCapture makes history as the first project in Texas to receive carbon credits for grasslands conservation.


"We are proud to deliver the first avoided grasslands conversion carbon credits in the history of the state of Texas and thrilled that AgriCapture's programs will unlock significant value for Texas landowners," says AgriCapture Board Member and Texas landowner, Kam Kronenberg.


Based in Nashville, AgriCapture was created by a group of agriculture specialists, passionate environmentalists, and economists to combat climate change through sustainable agriculture. AgriCapture verifies Climate-Friendly agricultural practices on farms, ranches, and grasslands to track environmental benefits and boost profitability for agricultural partners across the country.


AgriCapture's Avoided Grasslands Conversion Project is dedicated to protecting native grasslands and ranches from conversion to cropland, allowing the land to naturally sequester carbon, and prevent agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To facilitate the generation of carbon credits, AgriCapture methodically collects data on soil types, vegetative cover, land use history, and ranch operations to submit for registry verification and credit issuance under CAR's Grasslands Protocol. The AgriCapture team quantifies avoided GHG emissions and monitors ranch operations to protect underground carbon storage.


The Texas Agricultural Land Trust (TALT) partnered with AgriCapture on the Bailey County project and holds the conservation easement that will protect the land from being converted or developed. The easement contains provisions that make the property eligible to receive carbon credits for sequestering and storing soil carbon, as well as eliminating emissions that would be associated with crop production.


"We believe this bellwether project could result in future carbon credit revenue streams for agricultural landowners in Texas and beyond," said TALT CEO Chad Ellis. "We are excited about what these new carbon markets will mean for working lands families, and we look forward to sharing our learning with landowners as this project progresses."


Despite constant threat of development and conversion to cropland, native grasslands provide critically important wildlife habitat, filter water flowing into aquifers, rivers, and lakes, and naturally sequester over a third of land-based carbon.


Grasslands conservation carbon credits incentivize landowners to protect underground carbon storage within their grasslands. Corporate supporters of the Avoided Grasslands Conversion Project will offset company GHG emissions while preserving disappearing native grasslands.


Editor's Note: TSTA has no affiliation with AgriCapture and does not endorse them as carbon credit issuers. This article is purely for informational purposes and serves to illustrate the potential to generate income in non-traditional ways utilizing native plants (seed) and good stewardship.



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