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Oct 06

TSTA Weekly Update, 10/06/2022

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association
Member News

Attention Sorghum and Millet Seed Producers


It's Growout time again. We've reached out to our friends and cooperators in Puerto Rico. Carmen Santiago reports the Gan Eden Farm is a shambles and they lost nearly everything. She reports they are resilient however and they intend to persevere and are preparing for the Texas winter growouts. Apparently not their first rodeo.  


First planting dates are scheduled for Costa Rica and are tentative for November 15.  


Please download the growout planning & intention form found here for more information and to submit your estimates. Thank you and we'll forward more info as it is available.  


Reserve the dates!  The annual Texas Seed Trade Association conference will be February 12 and 13th, 2023 at Horseshoe Bay Resort.  Rooms will be available from Saturday night February 11th with departure on Tuesday February 14.  Super Bowl Sunday is the 12th.  Plan to join us!  Details to follow.  


Western Seed Association will convene their annual meeting on Monday October 31 at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, MO.  The meeting begins with a reception Monday evening at 6:00PM and transitions into the ASTA Farm and Lawn Seed Conference on Wednesday November 2.  


Please visit for more information and to register for the event.  

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 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

Independent Professional Seed Association (IPSA)


IPSA's 34rd annual conference will be held January 23-24, 2023 in Tucson, AZ.


There are some different things this year we would like to cover:


• We will have all receptions on site this year to take advantage of the beautiful scenery of the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort! One of the receptions is titles the "Legends of Independence" where we will have a chili cook off and a salsa competition. During your registration, you will have the ability to register for each of those events - or judge!


• We will be offering a Flash Networking corner for you have quick 20-minute meetings during breaks! This is very new to IPSA and we hope this will bring a new benefit to our conference. These meetings will need to be prescheduled and can be done on the Conference App! For questions, please contact Cat at 


• In the agenda this year, we have built in a large amount of time for networking and visiting the exhibitors.


For more information click here.

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!


10/06/22 - 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!

News Bits


The USDA says the corn and soybean harvests both made solid advances last week but are a little behind their normal paces. While weather was generally conducive for harvest activity last week, development in some areas was pushed back by planting delays this spring.


As of Sunday, 20% of U.S. corn is harvested, compared to the five-year average of 22%, with 96% dented, 75% mature, and 52% of the crop in good to excellent condition.


22% of soybeans are harvested, compared to 25% on average, with 81% of beans dropping leaves and 55% rated good to excellent.


40% of winter wheat has been planted, compared to 44% normally in early October, with 15% emerged, compared to 17% on average.


77% of cotton bolls have opened and 22% of the crop is harvested, both faster than usual, with 31% of the crop called good to excellent.


70% of rice is harvested, compared to 72% on average.


24% of U.S. pastures and rangelands are in good to excellent shape, down 2%.


U.S. agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of U.S. domestic workers can fill seasonal farm jobs with temporary foreign workers through the H-2A visa program.


The Department of Labor certified around 317,000 temporary jobs in fiscal year (FY) 2021 under the H-2A visa program, more than six times the number certified in 2005. Only about 80 percent of the certified jobs in 2021 resulted in the issuance of a visa. The program has grown partly in response to current U.S. domestic workers finding jobs outside of U.S. agriculture and a drop in newly arrived immigrants who seek U.S. farm jobs.


The H-2A program continued to expand in FY 2020 despite the jump in U.S. unemployment caused by lockdowns associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Six States accounted for about half of the H-2A jobs filled in 2021 certified: Florida, Georgia, Washington, California, North Carolina, and Louisiana. Nationally, the average H-2A contract in FY 2020 offered 24 weeks of employment and 39.3 hours per week at an average hourly wage of $13. 


Stressing the importance of upholding a strong Renewable Fuel Standard, the Renewable Fuels Association late last week filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a suit brought against the agency by the Center for Biological Diversity.


The environmental organization's suit seeks a court review of EPA's renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard for compliance years 2020 through 2022, and RFA is seeking to intervene on behalf of EPA, "to protect its substantial interest in the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard program and the investments RFA's members have made in renewable fuels to support the program," the motion states.


"After years of mismanagement and setbacks by previous administrations, the Biden administration's EPA has been moving in the right direction on the Renewable Fuel Standard," said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper.


"But now, an extreme environmental activist group is trying to derail that progress and success. We are seeking to intervene in this case to ensure EPA can continue its work to put the RFS back on track and restore integrity to the program. We will do all we can to make sure the law and Congress's intent are upheld." 


The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pause their "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rulemaking following today's Supreme Court oral arguments in the case Sackett v. EPA, a case that will determine the EPA's authority to regulate bodies of water under the Clean Water Act.


"Today's oral arguments highlighted the need for the Supreme Court to put this issue to bed once and for all. Since the passage of the Clean Water Act, cattle producers have experienced the regulatory whiplash of shifting WOTUS definitions-on average, a change every 3.8 years," said NCBA Natural Resources and Public Lands Council Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover. "NCBA is hopeful that the court will support NCBA's argument for clear and limited WOTUS definition, but in the meantime, we call on the EPA to suspend their rulemaking until the outcome of the case is clear."


In April 2022, NCBA filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court calling for a new test for determining whether a water feature fell under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. NCBA's argument would allow the government to protect substantial bodies of water while preventing overreach on small isolated agricultural water features.


NCBA also filed comments on the Biden administration's proposed "Waters of the U.S." rule. NCBA is calling for this rulemaking to halt until the Supreme Court issues a ruling in the Sackett v. EPA case. 


Texas Tech University taking the lead in $1.6M sorghum project

Texas Tech news release


Texas Tech University is taking the lead in one of the largest projects ever funded by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP). 


Krishna Jagadish, a professor and the Thornton Distinguished Chair in the Department of Plant and Soil Science, received $1.6 million in funding in partnership with Texas A&M University, Kansas State University, the U.S Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service locations in Lubbock and Manhattan, Kansas, and industry partners. Haydee Laza, an assistant professor of plant physiology in the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, is a co-investigator on the project as well. 

Titled “Transforming grain sorghum's climatic yield potential and grain quality through trait-based ideotype breeding,” the project is designed to maximize the sorghum crop by determining effective trait combinations for different environments. 


“The project brings together major public sorghum improvement programs in the U.S.,” Jagadish said. “The trans-disciplinary team aims to achieve the project goals by integrating agronomy, crop physiology, breeding, machine learning and crop and climate modeling.” 

Over the course of the project researchers, led by Jagadish, hope to develop trait-based ideotype sorghum hybrids specifically targeted to thrive in water-deficient areas and in areas considered favorable for growing sorghum. 


“For the first time in modern history, we have an opportunity to reimagine the architecture of the plant and how it operates,” USCP CEO Tim Lust said. “From drought tolerance to photosynthetic efficiency, this stellar team of physiology experts will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of a more productive, efficient sorghum plant for our farmers.”


The project is scheduled to last five years and incorporate a number of students seeking both master's and doctoral degrees, giving it the added benefit of helping train the next generation of leaders in the sorghum industry. 


“This project is timely and will be a difference-maker as we strive to improve crop resilience and feed the world,” said Plant and Soil Science Department Chair Glen Ritchie. “The collaborators on this project are top experts in sorghum physiology and stress tolerance and they will make a global impact with their success.”


About the USCP


The USCP is a producer-funded organization dedicated to improving the sorghum industry through research, promotion and education. For more information about the USCP and other sorghum promotion projects visit

EPA takes welcomed action on pesticide-coated seeds

Farm Progress release by Jacqui Fatka


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency denied a legal petition by Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network of North America, and others, which requested that the agency address how it regulates pesticide-coated seeds.


Ahead of the decision, 30 leading agricultural groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association and others urged EPA to reject the petition, citing the harm that will occur to U.S. agricultural production, the environment and EPA's regulatory workload should the agency grant this petition and remove seed treatments from the treated article exemption.


The exemption prevents EPA from having to regulate an item to which a pesticide is applied if the pesticide is intended to protect that underlying article. For example, just as EPA would not regulate a barn because its paint included a pesticide intended to protect the wood, neither would EPA regulate a seed coated with a pesticide since the pesticide itself is already regulated, the groups explain.


Crops grown from pesticide-coated seeds, such as corn, soybean, and sunflower seeds cover over 150 million acres of U.S. farmland each year.


CFS filed the rulemaking petition in 2017 that would close the loophole. When EPA failed to answer the petition as of late 2021, CFS was forced to take them to court. The latest response is issued pursuant to a court-set deadline of September 30.


Alan Meadows, soybean farmer from Halls, Tenn., and chair of the American Soybean Association’s Regulatory Committee, welcomed the decision. “This is the type of thoughtful decision that farmers hope to hear coming from EPA. Our goal as farmers is to protect our crops, use fewer pesticides, and reduce harm to our environment. Seed treatments have proven time and again to facilitate these positive results, so we appreciate today’s decision from the regulators we count on to support smart, responsible farming,” Meadows says.


In EPA’s response denying the petition, the agency stated that it would “continue to review labeling instructions for pesticides registered for seed treatment” to ensure those instructions are “complete” for the seeds ultimately coated with these biocides. EPA also promised to issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking “to seek additional information on pesticide seed treatment and to explore the option of issuing a rule pursuant to FIFRA section 3(a) to regulate the use of pesticide-treated seed.”


“As the agency looks to further scrutinize how seed treatments are used, I and other farmer members of ASA hope to provide useful insight and information for them to continue making informed decisions that enable modern agriculture,” Meadows adds.


CFS does not plan to give up its fight on limiting the use of pesticides.


“We gave EPA a golden chance and a blueprint to fix a problem that has caused significant harm to people, bees, birds, and the environment — and it stubbornly refused,” says Amy van Saun, CFS senior attorney. “It’s extremely disappointing and we’ll be exploring all possible next steps to protect communities and the environment from the hazard of pesticide-coated seeds, including a lawsuit challenging this decision.”


Editor's Note: This is the best news agriculture has had from the Biden administration.  


Source: American Seed Trade Association news release


Alexandria, VA- The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) encourages farmers to plan ahead for cover crop seed orders.

"Recent drought conditions and global supply challenges have impacted cover crop seed growers, just like other farmers," said ASTA President & CEO Andy LaVigne. "With temporary shortages of some varieties in certain locations, it's important to plan proactively, as far in advance as possible, to ensure your local seed dealer has your selection in stock when and where you need it."


To find local professional cover crop and conservation seed suppliers in your area, see ASTA's Conservation, Environmental, and Cover Crop Seed Resource Guide For information from ASTA and the Association of American Seed Control Officials (AASCO) about what to consider when making cover crop seed decisions Click Here


"It's important to always buy seed from a professional seed dealer," said LaVigne. "Professionally produced and processed seed has been selected, harvested, cleaned, analyzed and packaged for performance; and it's been tested for purity and germination. All of this helps ensure farmers get the best quality seed to meet their production and sustainability goals, while minimizing the presence of invasive and other weeds." 


Agri-Pulse reports:


The economic consequences of Mexico following through on a presidential decree to ban genetically modified corn in 2024 would have severe economic ramifications for the U.S. and Mexican economies, resulting in billions of dollars in losses for U.S. farmers and much higher food prices for Mexican consumers, according to a study by World Perspectives Inc.


To read the report click here.


Mexican officials have said the decree would only impact corn for food, downplaying the impact on U.S. exports of corn that primarily goes into animal feed. But the report's authors say the decree is too vague to make that assumption and their research is based on a complete ban.


The U.S. corn sector would see an economic loss of $3.56 billion in the first year of the ban, rising to $5.56 billion in the second year, according to the study. In Mexico, the average price of tortillas would rise by 16% and the cost of meat would increase as production declined in response to less available feed.


"The U.S.-Mexico trading partnership has contributed greatly to the food security and economic vitality of both countries," said National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. "That's why we should do everything possible to ensure that the relationship continues in a fair and mutually beneficial way."

Genetic analysis of Sorghum bicolor affect the human gut microbiome

University of Nebraska news release

Each of us walks around with trillions of living microbes in our gut. Din the kinds and abundance of microbes living in our gut are connected to our health and well-being. But as scientists learn more and more about which microbes are associated positive and negative impacts on human health, a key question has remained unanswered: how do we change our own microbiomes?


The answer may be in the food we eat. Different foods, made from different crops contain a varity of fibers, polyphenols and other natural compounds that can influence the abundance of different microbe within the human gut.


In a recent study from the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Benson that was led by Dr. Qinnan Yang, scientists at the Nebraska Food for Health Center demonstrate that natural genetic variation within crop plants can play a major role in controlling growth in specific organisms in the human gut microbiomes.


The study findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: Genetic analysis of seed traits in Sorghum bicolor that affect the human gut microbiome


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