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Nov 03

TSTA Weekly Update, 11/03/2022

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association
Member News

Attention Sorghum, Sunflower, and Millet Seed Producers


It's Growout time again. We've reached out to our friends and cooperators in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica and we are all set to move forward with this season's growouts. Jeb Owen needs your Costa Rica samples by this coming Monday. They will be planted the week of November 28th.


Puerto Rico samples need to be to Jeb by the end of November and will be planted the week of December 12th.


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. Registration will be live tomorrow morning and a special edition will be sent out with the link. 

Western Seed Association News

Does anyone know the whereabouts of these people? A High Plains "Institution" has reported them missing and presumed wandering about. Please call with any information pertaining the current location and activities of these individuals. While not considered dangerous prudent caution is advised.

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: ASTA is headed to Florida. Please join us at the last Chicago CSS meeting!

Texas Plant Protection Conference Dec. 6-7 in Bryan

Changing markets, pesticide, fertilizer, weather outlook to be discussed


BRYAN - The agricultural industry is changing, and the upcoming Texas Plant Protection Conference is an opportunity to learn about responding to these changes.

Ronnie Schnell, Texas Plant Protection Association president and Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension specialist, invites farmers, ranchers, crop consultants, Extension and other ag industry professionals to a two-day conference Dec. 6-7 at the 34th Annual Texas Plant Protection Conference at the Brazos Center in Bryan, Texas. Ag leaders will discuss changing markets, changing pesticide and fertilizer outlooks as well as changing weather patterns and the impact of these changes on Texas agriculture.

The conference begins with a general session. Following a welcome by Dr. Jeffrey Savell, Vice Chancellor and Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences for Texas A & M AgriLife, Dr. Mark Welch, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service grain marketing economist, will discuss “Global Markets Outlook and Impact on Texas Agriculture”.


After a short break to view ag research posters and industry displays, Chris Novak, President & CEO of CropLife America, will present information on “The Pesticide Forecast- Innovation, Opportunity & Challenge”.  Toby Hlavinka, President & CEO of American Plant Food Corporation, will discuss “Fertilizer – Supply & Pricing Outlook”. The morning session ends with a presentation on “Weather Patterns Impact on Texas Agriculture” by Eric Snodgrass, Science Fellow and Principal Atmospheric Scientist with Nutrien Ag Solutions.


After lunch, the afternoon Consultant Session includes discussions on “Gossypol-free Cottonseed Could Help Solve World Hunger’ by Keerti Rathore with Texas A & M University. Dalton Ludwick, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomology Specialist, will present information on “Stink Bug Control in Sorghum”. “An update on “Carbon Credit Contracts” will be presented by Tiffany Lashmet, J.D., Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Law Specialist.


Following an afternoon break, Dr. Barron Rector, AgriLife Extension range specialist, will conduct his Pest ID Contest. It’s a fun way to learn more about ag pest in Texas. The first day of the conference ends with New Technology & Chemistry updates by industry technical specialists.


The second day of the conference begins with a Law & Regulations Session that includes an update from Perry Cervantes with the Texas Department of Agriculture. Then “Federal Pesticide Policy Updates” will be led by Rod Snyder, Senior Advisor for Agriculture to the EPA Administrator in Washington, DC.


The remainder of the program consists of concurrent sessions on Cotton, Horticulture/Turf, Grain, Pasture & Rangeland, Water& Irrigation and Fertility Management. These sessions feature the latest from Texas A&M AgriLife and industry leaders.


Ray Smith, the Texas Plant Protection Association Board Chairman, reminds conference attendees to be sure and attend the Awards Luncheon at noon on the second day of the conference.  Several TPPA Awards are presented including the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award.


Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) will be offered for both TDA and CCA.  For more information or to register to attend the conference either in person or virtually visit the TPPA website: . Discounts are available for early registration and for farmers.

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!


11/3/22 - 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


U.S. corn and soybean harvest activity continued to move forward over the past week.


Rain did delay activity in parts of the Midwest and Plains and while that's helped replenish soil moisture and provide a slight boost to river levels, more will be needed in many areas.


The USDA says 76% of U.S. corn is harvested, compared to the five-year average of 64%, and 88% of soybeans are harvested, compared to 78% on average.


87% of winter wheat is planted, compared to the usual rate of 85%, and 62% has emerged, compared to 66% on average, with 28% of the crop in good to excellent shape, compared to last year's first rating of 45%.


55% of cotton is harvested, compared to 47% normally in late October, and 96% of bolls have opened, compared to 94% typically this time of year.


97% of rice is harvested, matching the five-year average.


23% of U.S. pastures and rangelands are called good to excellent, up 1% on the week.


Russia is returning to a grain export agreement with Ukraine after a four-day suspension.


Greg McBride with Allendale says this means Ukraine can resume exporting grain safely through the Black Sea Region.


"What they are doing is moving (grain) from Ukraine, or even Russia, to Turkey," he said. "They are having it inspected, and then moving it onto its final destination."


He tells Brownfield the reversal caused wheat futures to drop sharply overnight.


"When this kind of thing happens, you see the concern for food security," McBride said. "That's where you see the markets like rice and wheat to go through the roof. Now, they've started to back off a little bit. Same thing with the oats, and now you just undid everything that you did earlier this week."


The deal expires November 19th and all countries involved will have to agree to an extension. 


A fungus that causes "vomitoxin" has been found in some U.S. corn harvested this fall, causing headaches for growers and livestock producers and forcing ethanol plants and grain elevators to scrutinize grain deliveries.


The situation is another hit to global grain supplies that have sunk to the lowest in a decade since Russia invaded corn and wheat producer Ukraine. Drought has also slammed U.S. and European crops.


Feed made from grain contaminated with concentrated levels of the plant toxin can sicken livestock and lead to low weight gain, particularly among hogs, and grain buyers can reject cargoes or fine farmers for shipments that contain it.


Early signs of the toxin are emerging in Ohio, according to a weekly report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Grain buyers in eastern Indiana are also starting to more rigorously test corn deliveries for vomitoxin, according to farmers and elevator sources.


The toxin is also a problem for ethanol producers who sell a byproduct called distillers dried grains (DDGS) for animal feed. In the process of making ethanol, vomitoxin becomes more concentrated in DDGS, said Pierce Anderson Paul, a professor and epidemiologist with Ohio State University's department of plant pathology. 


Deere (NYSE:DE) is investing $29.8 million to begin making harvesters in the United States instead of China. The agricultural machinery giant is expanding its factory in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and adding 70 jobs, the state's development agency announced. 




Since August 2021 China has built 43 new coal-fired electrical generating plants with many more pending future construction. China accounted for over half the new coal-fired plants built worldwide in the last three years.


The Chinese bond market for property development has cratered. The dollar bond rates for Chinese property and real estate development have plummeted to new lows of as little as ten cents on the dollar reflecting a lack of confidence in the sector. Bond futures for Chinese real estate development is currently six cents on the dollar for bonds due in 2028 representing an annual decline of 91%.


Germany was slated to mothball its last four remaining nuclear powered electric generating plants by the end of 2022. All four have been given a new, but brief, lease on life by the new conservative government coalition. All four will be refurbished sufficiently to see their service extended to April 2023. Refurbishment will not include refueling. Northern Europe is forecast to be headed for a harsh winter with not enough power to go around to maintain public safety and warmth.


With the Mississippi River closed to barge traffic due to drought conditions movement of essential goods must find other, more expensive, routes. Transportation of grain and fertilizer are heavily impacted. The Rhine River, one of the prime mid-European arteries, has been similarly closed to barge traffic since late spring 2022 disrupting commerce and supply lines as much, or more, than the closing of the Mississippi.


The United Nations most recent climate report claims carbon dioxide reductions must come from the global food system which they say contributes a third of greenhouse gases. According to the report seven gigatons in carbon dioxide reductions, equal to all present-day natural gas production, will have to come from people eating less meat.


European fertilizer manufacturers are beginning to restart production with the recent fall in natural gas prices. Most other energy-intensive industries in Europe are taking a more wait-and-see attitude but fertilizer makers don't think they can wait with spring demand right around the corner. Norway based Yara International, one of the world's largest fertilizer companies, is currently operating at 65% of its available ammonia capacity almost doubling what it was tapping earlier this year. As high as fertilizer prices are here they are close to double in most of Europe.

Delivering genes into plant mitochondria using polymer-coated carbon nanotubes

RIKEN Research, Japan


DNA can be imported into the mitochondria of plants with a much higher efficiency than before thanks to a new method for delivering genes.


RIKEN biologists have found an effective way to smuggle genetic material into the energy generators of plant cells, opening up the possibility of coaxing plants to produce commercially useful compounds1.


With the global population expected to reach nearly 10 billion people in 2050, the ability to tinker with the genetics of plants to boost the production of food will be vital to feed the world.


Plants are also anticipated to become biofactories for producing useful chemicals such as drugs and fuels. “They can be engineered to produce other stuff besides food, such as various chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and recombinant proteins,” says Simon Law of the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS). “The fact that you can use plants to make a lot of different things makes biotechnology such a promising field.”

One way to ‘reprogram’ plants is to import genetic material into their cells, but this is challenging due to the thick cell wall that blocks many biomolecules.


Carbon nanotubes—rolled-up tubes of graphene that are a mere nanometer or so in diameter—are sufficiently slim to slip through the cell wall. But once inside the plant cell, carbon nanotubes are not very effective at targeting mitochondria—a key organelle responsible for generating energy and making and breaking down various compounds.


“Getting stuff through the cell wall, the cell membrane and then past mitochondria membranes is difficult and it hadn’t been achieved with high efficiency previously,” notes Law.

Figure 1: A simulated image of a carbon nanotube (gray cylinder) coated with three peptide molecules (green, orange and blue). RIKEN researchers have used such peptide-coated carbon nanotubes to deliver genetic material into plant mitochondria.

Reproduced from Ref. 1 and licensed under CC BY 4.0 © 2022 S. S. Y. Law et al.


Now, Law, Keiji Numata, also of CSRS, and co-workers have used carbon nanotubes to ship snippets of DNA into plant mitochondria at high efficiency. They achieved this by first coating the carbon nanotubes with a polymer layer that allowed for conjugation of short strings of amino acids known as peptides (Fig. 1). The peptides enabled the carbon nanotubes to target mitochondria.


By conjugating the peptides on carbon nanotubes, the team enhanced the efficiency of DNA transfer to mitochondria by a remarkable 30 times compared with previous attempts that just used peptides.


“The first time I ran the experiment, I doubted the results as they seemed too high to be reasonable,” recalls Law. “But I became more confident after repeating it a few times and obtaining similar results.”


The researchers demonstrated the usefulness of their method by using it to import a gene that enhanced the growth rate of plants. Other potential uses include speeding up breeding programs and altering metabolic pathways so that they produce commercially useful chemicals. Furthermore, by varying the peptides coated on the nanotubes, it should be possible to target other organelles in plant cells.

ICRISAT offers 7000 plus unique materials for sorghum breeders to choose from

Sorghum Scientists Field Day


Forty-four sorghum scientists representing public and private institutions from Asia and the Americas visited ICRISAT headquarters to participate in a field day that had 2100 unique hybrid products and 5000 breeding lines of varieties on display.

Dr Sean Mayes, Research Program Director-Accelerated Crop Improvement, called for increased private-sector participation to take advantage of the benefits of the Sorghum Hybrid Parents Research Consortium (SHPRC).

He encouraged the participants to disseminate the benefits of SHPRC through their respective networks and to credit ICRISAT for its material when used in their released variety/hybrid.

"ICRISAT is beginning to introduce new technologies like gene editing to optimize lignin content in forage and biofuel sorghum, while continuing to use marker-assisted selection for speciality traits (iron and zinc), for abiotic and biotic stress resistance and in order to boost yields and quality of the products,” said Dr Mayes.

ICRISAT carries out extensive multi-environment trials (METs) to test the productivity, adaptability and stability of sorghum. ​ Dr Mayes thanked the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) and National Agricultural Research Services (NARS) for their support in conducting trials and sought increased engagement.

Dr C Aruna Reddy, Principal Scientist - Plant Breeding, speaking on behalf of the Director of the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), emphasized the importance of collaborative breeding research to stabilize sorghum-cropped areas given the decline in cultivation stemming from decreased consumption.

She called for greater focus on sorghum production from a commercial viewpoint and investing in value addition to the breeding products.

“The key stabilizing factors will include accurate phenotyping and clear and purposeful integration of traits enabling product utilization in the sorghum breeding platform, along with the development of drought-resistant post-rainy (rabi) sorghum hybrids,” said Dr Aruna Reddy.

Dr A Ashok Kumar, Interim Research Program Director – Asia, and Principal Scientist - Product Placement Lead, highlighted the importance of integrating value-added traits in breeding.

“Red-grained sorghum presents a golden opportunity to cultivate grain sorghum during the rainy (kharif) season due to its resistance to grain mold and it also has tremendous potential to open up export markets catering to the fodder and the brewery industry,” said Dr Ashok Kumar.

Campaign to increase new hybrids

Dr Ephrem Habyarimana, Principal Scientist and Head-Sorghum Breeding, ICRISAT, described ICRISAT’s sorghum breeding campaign that will lead to a significant increase of new hybrids and the creation of new metrics (GCA, SCA, heterotic groups, etc.) to characterize future sorghum parental lines.

These metrics will help partner institutions invest less time and resources to develop new hybrid products or to select new superior lines.

The field day held on October 14 at ICRISAT headquarters had participants from 23 institutions, 15 of which belonged to the private seed industry. ​ In addition to entomology and phytopathology screening fields, three major breeding and gene bank fields were displayed, comprising more than 7000 unique materials.

The participants were offered options to select from a wide range of sorghum product profiles expressing stakeholder preferred traits relevant to the four major market segments i.e., post-rainy season sorghum for food and fodder; rainy season sorghum for food, feed and fodder; forage sorghum; and sweet sorghum and high biomass sorghum for biofuel. 

“The Scientists Field Day is an invaluable opportunity for scientist-to-scientist interaction and getting constructive feedback on the materials and sorghum breeding research which, guides the breeding program and the sorghum production environment,” said Dr Janila Pasupuleti, Principal Scientist and Cluster Leader - Crop Breeding, ICRISAT.


USDA release

Genetically engineered (GE) seeds were commercially introduced in the U.S. for major field crops in 1996, with adoption rates increasing rapidly in the years that followed. By 2008, more than 50 percent of corn, cotton, and soybean acres were planted with genetically engineered seeds.


The total planted acreage with GE seeds has only increased since then, and now more than 90 percent of U.S. corn, upland cotton, and soybeans are produced using GE varieties.


GE crops are broadly classified as herbicide-tolerant (HT) only, insect-resistant (Bt) only, or stacked varieties that combine both HT and Bt traits in a single seed. In the chart, both HT and Bt lines include stacked varieties which are a combination of both type of traits.


Although other GE traits have been developed, such as virus and fungus resistance, drought resistance, and enhanced protein, oil, or vitamin content, HT and Bt traits are the most commonly used in U.S. crop production. While HT seeds are also widely used in alfalfa, canola, and sugar beet production, most GE acres are planted to three major field crops: corn, cotton, and soybeans.

Diesel Shortage Looms

The Scoop reports:


Mansfield Energy issued an alert about diesel fuel shortages in several Southeastern states, including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina. The company also noted "extremely high prices in the Northeast." "Poor pipeline shipping economics and historically low diesel inventories are combining to cause shortages in various markets throughout the Southeast," the company said. "These have been occurring sporadically, with areas like Tennessee seeing particularly acute challenges." It noted that fuel prices are 30 to 80 cents higher than the posted market average due to "tight" supply, while saying that "fuel suppliers have to pull from higher cost options, at a time when low-high spreads are much wider than normal."


Get more news and market analysis that isn't available online with a Pro Farmer subscription. View subscription options.


Fuel carriers are now having to go to "multiple terminals to find supply, which delays deliveries and strains local trucking capacity," it said. While gasoline prices have dropped since they posted record highs in June, diesel hasn't decreased nearly as much and currently stands at $5.31 per gallon, according to AAA. Oct. 21 data from the Energy Information show that the country had 25.9 days of diesel left.


Nov. 2, 2022

Source: USDA news release


WASHINGTON, - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced loan interest rates for November 2022, which are effective Nov. 1, 2022. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans provide important access to capital to help agricultural producers start or expand their farming operation, purchase equipment and storage structures or meet cash flow needs.


Operating, Ownership and Emergency Loans


FSA offers farm ownership and operating loans with favorable interest rates and terms to help eligible agricultural producers, whether multi-generational, long-time, or new to the industry, obtain financing needed to start, expand or maintain a family agricultural operation. FSA also offers emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters or quarantine. For many loan options, FSA sets aside funding for historically underserved producers, including veterans, beginning, women, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and Hispanic farmers and ranchers


Interest rates for Operating and Ownership loans for November 2022 are as follows:


Farm Operating Loans (Direct): 4.375%

Farm Ownership Loans (Direct): 4.500%

Farm Ownership Loans (Direct, Joint Financing): 2.500%

Farm Ownership Loans (Down Payment): 1.500%

Emergency Loan (Amount of Actual Loss): 3.750%


FSA also offers guaranteed loans through commercial lenders at rates set by those lenders.


You can find out which of these loans may be right for you by using our Farm Loan Discovery Tool (also available in Spanish).


Commodity and Storage Facility Loans


Additionally, FSA provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade on-farm storage facilities and purchase handling equipment and loans that provide interim financing to help producers meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are low. Funds for these loans are provided through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and are administered by FSA.


Commodity Loans (less than one year disbursed): 5.250%


Farm Storage Facility Loans:

Three-year loan terms: 4.250%

Five-year loan terms: 4.125%

Seven-year loan terms: 4.000%

Ten-year loan terms: 3.875%

Twelve-year loan terms: 3.875%


Sugar Storage Facility Loans (15 years): 4.000%


Pandemic and Disaster Support


FSA broadened the use of the Disaster Set Aside (DSA), normally used in the wake of natural disasters, to allow farmers with USDA farm loans who are affected by COVID-19, and are determined eligible, to have their next payment set aside. Because of the pandemic's continued impacts, producers can apply for a second DSA for COVID-19 or a second DSA for a natural disaster for producers with an initial DSA for COVID-19. It's available until Dec. 31, 2022.


FSA also reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses affected by the year's winter storms, drought, hurricanes and other natural disasters that USDA has programs that provide assistance. USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices are prepared to deliver a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to agricultural producers and impacted communities. Many programs are available without an official disaster designation, including several risk management and disaster recovery options.


Distressed Borrowers


The Inflation Reduction Act provided $3.1 billion for USDA to provide relief for distressed borrowers with certain Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct and guaranteed loans and to expedite assistance for those whose agricultural operations are at financial risk. In October 2022, USDA has started to provide automatic and case-by-case assistance to distressed borrowers. Learn more about this IRA assistance.


More Information


Producers can explore available options on all FSA loan options at or by contacting your local USDA Service Center.


USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America's food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit


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