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Aug 18

TSTA Weekly Update, 08/18/2022

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association
Member News

Upcoming Texas Seed Trade Association Regional Opportunity


Attention: If you have relatively new sales professionals, new hires with management potential or prospects, or employees new to people management, or you simply want to be a more effective communicator at work - this course is ideally designed to help!


TSTA will host a regional "sharpen your axe" meeting in Amarillo, Thursday September 8th. We'll get started at 10:30AM at the Embassy Suites. We'll be done before 5:00PM with a break for lunch.


The "get together" will consist of an active participation training session aimed at increasing our communication effectiveness. It is especially appropriate for people-managers and sales professionals. Based on the DiSC program we'll explore preferred communications styles with an emphasis on effectively communicating with others who have different styles. This is an eye-opening program and a chance to sharpen skills you use every day. For a brief course description click here.


The class will be facilitated by a Wilson Learning certified instructor. There is no charge for member companies of the TSTA.  Our facilitator has presented this program at leadership academies for the National Corn Growers Association, American Agri-Women, National Association of Wheat Growers, the Ag Retailers Association, and Syngenta Leadership at its Best programs in the U.S. and in Canada.  This course goes by a few other names including "The Counselor Sales Person," and Social Styles.  


DiSC orientation and an evening at Hodgetown Ballpark with the Amarillo Sod Poodles to follow. Join us at the Outfield Overlook for an evening of food, friends and fun. Reserve a spot today by replying to this email newsletter or calling the association office. Space is limited. The Embassy Suites has rooms available.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is offering three alfalfa mini workshops for West Texas alfalfa growers on Aug. 25-26 in Balmorhea, Lamesa and Plainview.

The workshops will include discussion of agronomics, irrigation requirements and insect pests, and include a visit to a nearby alfalfa field.

The cost is $10 per workshop and participants may pay onsite. No advance registration is required.

One integrated pest management and one general Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education credit will be available at each workshop.

  • Balmorhea, Aug. 25, 8:30 a.m.- 12:15 p.m. This program will also include a discussion of summer annual forages — sorghum/sudan. Participants will meet at the Balmorhea Community Center, 101 Interstate Highway 10. Local contact: Macey Bunch, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, Reeves County, 432-287-0600, 
  • Lamesa, Aug. 25, 4-7:30 p.m. Participants will meet at the AgriLife Extension office in Dawson County, 400 S. First Street. Local contact: Gary Roschetzky, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, Dawson County, 806-872-3444, .
  • Plainview, Aug. 26, 8:30 a.m.-noon. Participants will meet at the Ollie Liner Center, 2000 S. Columbia. Local contact: Andy Hart, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, Hale County, 806-291-5267, .

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: The Bears are going to Arlington Park and now ASTA is headed to Florida. Please join us at the last Chicago CSS meeting!

Save the dates for the 34th Annual Texas Plant Protection Conference. December 6 & 7, 2022 at the Brazos Center in Bryan. Conference and Exhibitor/Sponsors registration is available on the TPPA website:


Don’t miss these outstanding presenters in the conference General Sessions:


“Global Markets Outlook & Impact on Texas Agriculture” - Dr. Mark

   Welch, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

The Pesticide Forecast—Innovation, Opportunity & Challenge” –              

Chris Novak, President & CEO, CropLife America

“Fertilizer - Supply & Pricing Outlook” - Toby Hlavinka, President &    

  CEO, American Plant Food Corporation

“ Weather Patterns Impact on Texas Agriculture” Eric Snodgrass,                         

    Nutrien Ag Solutions, Science Fellow and Principal Atmospheric Scientist

“Gossypol-free Cottonseed Could Help Solve World Hunger”, Dr.

   Keerti Rathore, Texas A & M University

“Stink Bug Control In Sorghum” Dalton Ludwick, Texas A&M AgriLife

   Extension Entomology Specialist  

“Carbon Credit Contracts” – Tiffany Lashmet, J.D., Texas A&M 

  AgriLife Extension Law Specialist 

“Federal Pesticide Policy Updates” – Rod Snyder, Senior Advisor for

  Agriculture to the EPA Administrator, Washington, DC

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!


8/18/22 - 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!


AgriPulse reports:


The Biden administration is wasting little time selling the media and the public on that giant new spending and tax bill, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the bill's benefits include $3.1 billion in farm debt relief that will help keep many struggling farmers in business.


Speaking to members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, Vilsack said that as many as 25% of the farmers with USDA loans are either delinquent or have been delinquent in the recent past, indicating "a level of distress."


"We know right now there's a moratorium on foreclosure actions. But that moratorium gets lifted when and if the public health emergency gets lifted. And that can occur sometime this fall," he said.


He went on, "It's a tool that we've longed for ... to be able to have that flexibility to say with a reduced interest rate or with restructuring of your loan, 'We put you in a position where you can stay on the farm.'"


By the way: He noted that the debt relief will be based on need, not race. The funding replaces a program for minority farmers that was blocked by the courts.


More Vilsack: Funding to address conservation backlog 'right away'


The climate bill also will enable USDA to immediately start addressing the huge backlog in demand for conservation programs, Vilsack says. The measure provides about $18 billion for four programs, with the first tranche of funding authorized for fiscal 2023, which starts Oct. 1.


"The expectation is that these resources will be put to use right away," he said. The money "is going to allow us to begin to whittle down the very significant waiting lists that we have for projects that require conservation resources," he said.

News Bits


The USDA's good to excellent ratings on corn and soybeans sank slightly again last week. The crops are showing the impact of hot, dry weather in some key U.S. growing areas. That will get alleviated at least somewhat this week in parts of the region, but the USDA could trim yield estimates in the next crop production report.


As of Sunday, 57% of U.S. corn is in good to excellent condition, 1% less than last week, with 94% of the crop silking, compared to the five-year average of 97%, 62% at the dough making stage, compared to 65% on average, and 16% dented, compared to the normal rate of 20%.


58% of soybeans are called good to excellent, down 1%, with 93% of the crop blooming, matching the five-year average, and 74% at the pod setting stage, compared to 77% most of the time in mid-August.


90% of winter wheat is harvested, compared to 94% on average.


64% of spring wheat is in good to excellent shape, unchanged on the week, with 16% harvested, compared to the usual pace of 35%.


34% of the cotton crop is rated good to excellent, up 3%, with 80% setting bolls, compared to 78% on average, and 15% of those bolls opening, compared to 14% on average.


75% of U.S. rice is reported as good to excellent, 1% higher, and 84% has headed, compared to 86% typically this time of year, and 11% harvested, in-line with the normal pace. 


21% of U.S. pastures and rangelands are in good to excellent condition, a week-to-week decline of 3%.


A Tax on Meat?  by Cameron Hepburn, Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Oxford and Franziska Funke, Associate Doctoral Researcher in Environmental Economics, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research


Rearing livestock and growing crops to feed them has destroyed more tropical forest and killed more wildlife than any other industry. Animal agriculture also produces vast quantities of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.


The environmental consequences are so profound that the world cannot meet climate goals and keep ecosystems intact without rich countries reducing their consumption of beef, pork and chicken.


To slash emissions, slow the loss of biodiversity and secure food for a growing world population, there must be a change in the way meat and dairy is made and consumed.


A rapidly evolving market for novel alternatives, such as plant-based burgers, has made the switch from meat easier. Yet in countries such as Britain, meat consumption has not fallen fast enough in recent years to sufficiently rein in agricultural emissions.


Instead, prices on meat and other animal products will eventually need to reflect all this damage. There are several ways to do this, but each intervention poses its own difficulties.


In our view, the most likely result will be simple, direct taxes on meat and animal products. Our latest research, published in the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, considered how an environmental tax on meat could work.


To read entire article, click here


Source: House Agriculture Republicans news release


WASHINGTON, DC -House Democrats passed H.R. 5376, a disingenuous and partisan exercise that lacked robust debate and hearings and does nothing to provide relief to rural America. Following the vote, Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson (PA-15), Republican Leader of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the statement below:


"America's farm families and consumers are continuing to grapple with an economic recession, yet today Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats jammed through another reckless tax-and-spend package.


"My Democrat colleagues are either politically deaf or blinded by ideology as they ignore 40-year high inflation, exorbitant food and fertilizer prices, severe labor shortages, and relentless overregulation from the Biden Administration, and instead voted to advance another fiscally irresponsible, partisan bill.


"As I've said, this bill only complicates the pathway to a Farm Bill and creates even greater uncertainty for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities."


Editor's Note: Space does not permit listing all the national agricultural groups and affiliates heaping praise on the Biden administration for the portions of pork made available for their constituents within the "Inflation Reduction Act."  Many are the same organizations that have previously both blessed, and cursed, the Biden administration for foregone mercies or offenses.  We're having fun counting the individual praises versus condemnations.  There is, to many, much in the bill for agriculture.  We worry about attitudes based on "free money" as there is scarcely such a thing, especially coming from an administration keen on reinstating, and introducing additional, regulation.  


In previous Weekly Updates we have reported on the extreme drought conditions in France.  As hard as it may be to believe they are dryer than we are - the worst drought in French recorded history - which goes back a bit further than recorded history in Texas.  Apparently the sorghum crops, there aren't that many in France, are doing stunningly well as corn and wheat crops have faded into distant memories.  Could be an opportunity for more hybrid grain sorghum seed sales in France next year.

Oklahoma Water Resources Center at Oklahoma State University aims to conserve water through cover crops

Oklahoma State University release

Twelve flumes and automated water samplers were installed in Altus to measure runoff and to collect water samples to analyze for nutrient, sediment, and E. Coli concentrations.  Photo by Lucas Gregory.

The Oklahoma Water Resources Center at Oklahoma State University is teaming up with Texas A&M University for a $1.7 million project to study the benefits of regenerative agriculture in Oklahoma and Texas.

“The water center’s involvement was sparked from discussions on how implementing soil health practices would help achieve Oklahoma’s Water for 2060 goal of consuming no more fresh water in 2060 than was consumed in 2010,” said Kevin Wagner, OWRC director. “There is evidence that practices to improve soil health will also help reach this goal, but there is a need for more research in the Southern Plains.”


Project partners are conducting field research evaluating how the use of cover crops, no till farming and grazing of cover crops effect soil health, soil carbon, nutrient cycling, greenhouse gases emissions, and water quality and quantity. The field research findings will then be used to develop river basin scale models to evaluate the effects of regenerative agricultural practices at a regional scale. Output from these models will be integrated with economic models to show the potential economic impacts on individual producers and surrounding communities.


Although cover crops have been heavily researched in midwestern states, less research has been done in the drier environment of the Southern Plains, according to Wagner, who said part of the project will be studying using wheat as a cover crop for cotton in the Oklahoma panhandle and southwestern regions. Researchers want to understand how cover crops perform in a semi-arid environment with less rainfall and determine the barriers to adoption.


“The focus of this research is cotton as an essential cash crop for southwestern Oklahoma,” Wagner said. “Although cotton provides certain advantages over corn, such as higher tolerance for salinity and lower need for moisture and irrigation, it also has disadvantages, such as leaving very little cover for the soil after harvest.”


The field research kicked off in the spring of 2022 with the installation of 12 water flumes (water collecting devices) at the Southwest Research and Extension Center near Altus. The flumes collect runoff water samples during rain events to study the effects of soil health practices on nutrients, E. coli, and sediment in the runoff water. In preliminary results, researchers found during the first three runoff events that there was three times higher water runoff amounts from the sites without cover crop versus the sites that had an actively growing cover crop in place.


A new Extension Soil Stewardship Program is also being developed to educate producers on soil management and the research findings from the project.

“Producer concerns are always a top priority in our research. It is part of the land-grant mission to extend our research knowledge to the public to help improve the lives of Oklahomans,” Wagner said. “We envision this research being delivered to agricultural producers to provide them with the information they need to assess how integration of regenerative ag practices may benefit their farm and operation.”


Editor's Note: We are always on the lookout for cover crop information specific to Texas conditions.  We will actively follow this cooperative work between Oklahoma State and Texas A&M and report findings when available.  


by Krissa Welshans, Feedstuffs magazine


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced today that business cooperative Producer Owned Beef LLC (POB) will create a new beef processing plant in Amarillo. The plant, which will be the only such facility in the nation to be owned by cattle producers and operated by beef processing industry veterans, will harvest 3,000 cattle per day and sell beef and beef byproducts both in and out of Texas.


The project will create more than 1,500 new jobs, generate $670 million in capital investment and have an estimated annual payroll of $120 million. A Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant of $12.2 million has been extended to POB as well as a Veteran Created Job Bonus of $8,000 has been offered.


"'Made in Texas' is a powerful global brand and continues to attract investment from companies serving crucial industries," said Gov. Abbott. "Producer Owned Beef's selection of Amarillo for its new beef processing plant further reinforces the Panhandle as a leader in U.S. beef and beef production and will create over 1,500 new jobs and millions in investment for the region. We welcome Producer Owned Beef to Amarillo and look forward to working with the company to keep Texas the economic engine of the nation."


Casey Cameron, chief executive officer of Producer Owned Beef, commented, "We are excited about the continued momentum of Producer Owned Beef with the Governor's support through the Texas Enterprise Fund. This further reinforces the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation and the City of Amarillo's commitment to building our new beef processing plant in Amarillo."


Texas State Rep. Four Price, R, said having a stable U.S. food supply is vital to national security. "This additional beef processing facility in Texas will help meet our consumer demand for quality protein for the family dinner table."


Groundbreaking is planned for Q1 2023, with an expected operating date of Q4 2025.


To read the entire article click here.


by The Packer magazine staff


Finding generally strong compliance with federal standards for pesticide tolerances in food, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published its annual Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program Report for Fiscal Year 2020.


The report summarized findings from the program's monitoring of human and animal foods in fiscal year 2020.


To read the entire FDA report click here.


From Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, 2020, the FDA tested for approximately 750 different pesticides and selected industrial compounds on 2,078 human food samples (316 domestic and 1,762 import samples) in its regulatory monitoring program.


Agency staff collected domestic human food samples from 35 states and imported human food samples from 79 countries/economies, according to the release. The findings show that the levels of pesticide residues measured by the FDA in the U.S. food supply are generally in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's pesticide tolerances.


Growers often use pesticides to protect their crops from insects, weeds, fungi and other pests. Through this program, the agency ensures that FDA-regulated foods within U.S. commerce comply with the pesticide tolerances, or maximum residue levels, set by EPA to protect public health, the release said.


The EPA establishes pesticide tolerances on the amount of a pesticide residue a food can contain, and the FDA is responsible for enforcing those tolerances for domestic foods shipped in interstate commerce and foods imported into the United States.


In fiscal year 2020, the FDA found that 96.8% of domestic and 88.4% of import human foods were compliant with federal standards, that is, the pesticide tolerances set by EPA. No pesticide residues were found in 40.8% of the domestic samples and 48.4% of the import samples.


In the human food commodity groups, the violation rate in each group was higher for import samples. The higher violation rate affirms the validity of the sampling design in targeting import commodities more likely to contain violative pesticide residues, according to the release.


The FDA also analyzed 102 animal food samples (40 domestic and 62 import samples) for pesticides. The agency found that 100% of domestic and 96.8% of import animal food samples were compliant with federal standards. No pesticide residues were found in 30.0% of the domestic and 48.4% of the import animal food samples. 

The editor's of the Weekly Update strive to bring you topical and interesting information we hope is informative and useful.  If you have suggestions for future content or can furnish news releases from your organization they are very welcome. 


As you have likely surmised some weeks are "better" than others with regard to content that might prove interesting to you.  Putting the newsletter together is never a struggle but certainly some weeks are easier than others.  We peruse the clippings and the agricultural news releases for content and include some of our own.  


Please feel free to contribute content to the Weekly Update for consideration and inclusion in future issues!


National FFA News Release


As the importance of agriculture continues to be a focus throughout the world, students around the country understand the vital role it plays in everyday life. No more is this more evident than in the growth of membership in the National FFA Organization.


Today, the National FFA Organization announced a record-high student membership number of 850,823, an increase of 15% from last year. In addition, chapter numbers increased by 178, resulting in 8,995 chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Interest in FFA and agricultural education continues to grow as membership and the number of chapters increase. The top five student membership states are Texas, California, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. This year, the organization has more than 132,700 Latino members, more than 47,000 Black members and more than 13,000 American Indian and Alaska Native members. Forty-three percent of the membership is female, and 50% is male, with .5% reporting as nonbinary, 4.7% undisclosed, and 1.2% unreported.


"Our FFA members are the future generation of leaders who make a difference in their communities as well as agriculture and other industries," said National FFA CEO Scott Stump. "As we continue to grow, we see the enthusiasm for agricultural education and FFA reflected in our membership."


The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 850,000 student members as part of 8,995 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


About National FFA Organization


The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 850,000 student members as part of 8,995 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at and on Facebook and Twitter.


About National FFA Foundation


The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. A separately registered nonprofit organization, the foundation is governed by a board of trustees that includes the national FFA president, educators, business leaders and individual donors. For more, visit


Editors Note: This is refreshingly good news. Most fraternal organizations have experienced declining membership over the last several decades. Current and past members of the FFA and 4H seem under-represented within the confines of correctional facilities nationwide. The more youth involved in these organizations the better!  

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