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The 2023 peanut production is 107% higher than last year although the state has experienced extreme drought.The 2023 peanut production is 107% higher than last year although the state has experienced extreme drought.
Nov 30

TSTA Weekly Update, 11/30/2023

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association

Member News


We hope everyone enjoyed a safe and family-fun Thanksgiving last week!


The TSTA Board of Directors held a brief meeting this week primarily for the final planning phases of our February Annual Meeting. Please see below for some choices of subject matter!


Membership renewals for 2023-2024 have been mailed, please look for them! And thank you to those who have already returned renewals!


Join the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) this December 5 - 8, 2023 at our NEW venue, the Hyatt Regency Orlando, for the Field Crop Seed Convention, an unparalleled seed business networking and educational opportunity. Gathering over 2,000 attendees from 36 countries, the Field Crop Seed Convention (formerly known as the CSS & Seed Expo) is THE place to see and be seen amongst the global community of companies working in all field crops, from corn and soybean, to wheat, rice, cotton, sorghum and so much more. Now in Orlando, after 77 years in Chicago, our new venue offers any and all seed industry stakeholders a wealth of new opportunities, in a central hub of exhibits, sessions and private meeting rooms all in one combined meeting space area. 

Visit the conference home page to learn more


The 35th Annual Texas Plant Protection Conference will be December 5 & 6 at the Brazos Center in Bryan, Texas. Click here for more info and to register

Call for your input on discussion topics at the Texas Seed Trade Association Annual Meeting in February 2024.


Last year's meeting was very successful and received high marks from participants for topics as well as format. The meeting was largely comprised of brief presentations followed by panel discussions with an open Q&A format. We look to maintain the overall format this coming year but desire your input regarding subject matter for discussion.


The choices include:


  • Plant Variety Protection advances over the last year
  • Relative merits of PVP versus plant patents
  • Trends in seed segments; where's the market headed for members?
  • Seed treatment and advancing regulation of treated seed
  • Cover crop market development linked with government programs
  • How can we help limit brown bag seed distribution in Texas?


Please let us know your preferences via a return email by hitting "reply" to this issue of the Weekly Update. Please list your preferences in your return email. If you want to talk about something not on "the list" please let us know and make a suggestion.


We will have registration portals available shortly but please reserve February 11 & 12 and we'll see you at Horseshoe Bay!

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!


11/30/2023 - 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!

The first comprehensive book about the most complex plant genome – the Wheat Genome – is now out and available in open access


Read or download the Wheat Genome book here:


Edited by Rudy Appels, Kellye Eversole, Catherine Feuillet and Dusti Gallagher, the Wheat Genome book highlights the groundbreaking research ongoing for wheat – a critical food security crop. It illustrates the value and impact of having high-quality reference genomes for overall crop improvements that address the dual challenges of producing a reliable, safe, and sustainable supply of wheat while facing a rapidly changing climate.


The book includes articles describing the development of the reference sequence, new assemblies of commercial varieties, genome-wide studies, and the accelerated cloning of agronomically important genes and provides valuable resources and literature for fundamental and applied research, crop improvement and teaching.

Loveland Products, Inc., part of the Nutrien family, has acquired a prominent soybean breeding program tailored for the Southern US from BASF. The acquisition includes two breeding sites, with one site in Marion, Arkansas and the other in Leland, Mississippi. Once developed, the products will be sold in key Nutrien Ag Solutions locations in the Southern US.


By growing the current in-house breeding programs to include soybeans, Nutrien Ag Solutions will be better able to serve the unique needs of growers in the South with the Loveland Products’ Dyna-Gro brand. Dyna-Gro already has in-house breeding programs for cotton and rice focused on the southern US market, adding soybeans to this portfolio aligns with our goal to be a comprehensive agricultural solutions provider.


Now, with soybeans, rice, and cotton, Nutrien Ag Solutions will be better positioned to support row crop growers with the latest agricultural technologies and innovative breeding programs. Southern growers will be able access soybean varieties that have been tailored specifically for their unique needs.


Nutrien Ag Solutions remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering Southern growers with innovative solutions. This acquisition and expansion into soybean breeding marks a strategic move towards enhancing agricultural productivity and driving growth and prosperity for our customers through expanded seed variety options. Nutrien Ag Solutions aims to provide whole acre solutions that allow soybean growers to realize the full potential of their crops, improving crop yields and quality.


Editor's Note: Nutrien (Dyna-Gro) is a valued member of the Texas Seed Trade Association.

News Bits


A turn to colder, wetter conditions in parts of the Midwest and Plains last week limited corn harvest activity. The USDA says 96% of the crop is harvested as of Sunday, only up slightly on the week and behind last year, but still just ahead of the five-year average. Forecasts for this week are generally a little bit warmer for most of the region.


The winter wheat crop is fully planted and 91% of the crop has emerged, compared to 89% on average, with 50% in good to excellent shape, an improvement of 2% from a week ago and 16% from a year ago.


83% of the cotton crop is harvested, compared to the normal pace of 79%.


This is the final national crop progress and condition report for 2023, with the weekly numbers resuming April 1st, 2024.


Oklahoma Farm Report radio network


In January of 2023, the beef cow herd number issued by the USDA was at 28.9 million head. This number is a 4 percent drop compared to January of 2022.


Looking back to 2019, the beef cow herd number was at 31.8 million head. It has trended lower year by year since then.


And most analysts agree that the predicted beef cow herd number for January of 2024 is sure to be lower than a year ago. "I think the beef cow herd, on January 1 of 2024 will be down at least 2 percent, and I am really thinking it is going to be more like 2.5 percent on a year-over-year basis," Peel said.


Based on the continued rates of slaughter and feedlot placements, Peel said it only makes sense that there will be a large drop in numbers.


"If my number is at all close to correct, it will be the lowest beef cow herd since 1961," Peel said. "It is just a tick over 28 million head is where I have got my estimate right now."


There is no pipeline of replacement heifers, Peel said, so this will prologue the rebuilding process.


"When we do start trying to hold heifers for rebuilding, we are going to be holding heifer calves," Peel said. "That in of itself is a two-year process to get those heifers into production."


The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


To read the entire report and listen to the interview click here.


by Sabrina Halvorson, Hoosier Ag Today radio network


A proposed northern California anti-agriculture measure could have an effect nationwide. The measure in Sonoma County would eliminate animal agriculture in that county.


"It would outlaw all animal agriculture in the county. That would affect dairies, that would affect poultry operations," said Director of Political Affairs with the California Farm Bureau, Steven Fenaroli, who explained those are two of the biggest animal ag industries in the county.


The measure titled "Prohibition on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations" is backed by an animal rights extremist group, which has already collected more than 18,000 signatures toward putting the measure on the ballot. It has until March to collect the remaining two thousand verified signatures needed. The trajectory shows it will go to the voters, and Fenaroli says that's something that the agriculture industry around the nation should keep a watchful eye on.


"A lot of the country, I think, begrudgingly looks to California and they kind of say, 'Oh gosh, California, what are they doing now?' But I think this thing has national implications. If a group can qualify a measure and they can outlaw animal agriculture in a county, that sets up a recipe, a playbook, for them to repeat that not only throughout the state but throughout the country," Fenaroli said.


He said when political attacks like this come up, it's important for the ag industry to gather the troops and fight back.


To read the entire article click here.


  • The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) prevents the illegal sale of federally protected seeds
  • Grower agrees to cease and desist efforts to offer to sell PVPA-protected AgriPro® wheat seed


Syngenta has reached a settlement agreement with Marty Fletchall of Beloit, Kansas, in response to Syngenta’s allegations of Mr. Fletchall’s unauthorized selling and offering to sell of AgriPro® SY Monument variety.


Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Fletchall has agreed to cease and desist from all further efforts to offer to sell and/or sell Syngenta PVPA-protected wheat seed varieties. Fletchall will also pay a fine to Syngenta as part of the settlement agreement.

Texas Peanut Production Up This Season

Texas AgriLife release

The 2023 peanut production is 107% higher than last year although the state has experienced extreme drought. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Michael Miller)


Vernon, TX (November 14, 2023) - Back-to-back seasons of drought continue to impact planted peanut acres making it another tough year for Texas peanut growers, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.


Emi Kimura, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension state peanut specialist, Vernon, said producers who were able to keep their crop under irrigation throughout the drought were able to maintain growth and produce average yields per acre. However, for those who were not able to keep up with moisture demands during a second season of drought and extreme heat suffered another rough season.


Harvested acres were up compared to 205,000 acres last year, according to an October U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Statistics Service report. The USDA report also forecasted 107% higher production in Texas than last year – 677 million pounds, compared to 328 million pounds in 2022. Peanut yields this season were up 500 pounds per acre over 2022 production and expected to reach 3,300 pounds per acre.


But Kimura said the USDA report does not depict the 2023 peanut growing season. She said 13,000-14,000 acres of the 230,000 peanut acres in Texas were lost to dry, hot conditions.


“It was the second drought season in a row, and that makes it harder,” Kimura said. “Peanuts need even more water, and lower yields in back-to-back seasons makes it hard for growers.”


Peanut growers face tough conditions


The lack of rain and soil moisture in the ground throughout the season left most peanut growers solely reliant on irrigation, Kimura said. That means a farm’s irrigation capacity greatly influenced individual grower outcomes.


The evaporative effect of another arid growing season took its toll on growers’ ability to meet water demands for good pod and peanut development, she said.


Drought delayed crop progress, but there were also weather-related delays at harvest, Kimura said.


“Producers waited a week or two longer than normal to harvest their crop since the rain we received in May and June pushed back planting,” said Kimura. “The drought also slowed down production, so waiting to harvest allowed the crop to mature.”


Progressing peanut prices


Pancho Abello, AgriLife Extension economist, Vernon, released the High Plains Ag Week – Peanut Market update Oct. 18. Peanut prices reached the highest level in the last decade – $545 per ton on average. Abello said demand for peanuts in the U.S. has shifted.


He reported a 9% consumption decrease for peanut candy, snacks and other peanut products, while peanut butter and in-shell peanut consumption increased 6%.


“Even though producers’ yields improved on average, many still struggled to bring in a crop,” Kimura said.


For more information, see the summaries compiled by the AgriLife Extension district reporters.


Written by Randi Williams


Editor's Note: We have a world class peanut breeding program in Texas and with the addition of a sheller at Texas Foundation Seeds in Vernon and the efforts of Rick Vierling and his team more and more Texas peanut varieties will be planted in Texas. Things are looking up for Texas peanuts!


Source: American Seed Trade Association news release


Alexandria, VA-- The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) applauds the release of the National Plant Germplasm and Cultivar Collection Assessment and Utilization Plan. ASTA led efforts in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 to further support the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) through the development and implementation of this plan in order to preserve the viability of, and public access to, germplasm and cultivars.


In addition to identifying priorities and strategies, developing approaches, and providing 5-year and 10-year timelines, the plan identifies how NPGS can reduce current backlogs, prevent future backlogs, improve NPGS plant germplasm (PGR) collections, strengthen and increase NPGS operations efficiencies, and meet the needs of customers and stakeholders comprehensively. Administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the NPGS comprises 22 gene banks and support units across 19 locations.


The National Strategic Germplasm and Cultivar Collection Assessment and Utilization Plan outlines three overall strategies for achieving these goals:


Strategically expanding NPGS PGR management capacities


Increasing NPGS operational efficiencies


Integrating and expanding NPGS PGR genotypic characterization, phenotypic evaluation, and genetic enhancement operations


"ASTA and its members welcome this report and NPGS's plan to modernize its operations and increase its operational efficiencies," said ASTA President & CEO Andy LaVigne. "Plant breeders, public and private, working to bring innovative plant varieties to U.S. farmers and producers will benefit from implementing this new plan. We look forward to working with USDA-ARS on the implementation of this plan."


Learn more about the benchmarks, timelines, and key indicators that NPGS has outlined by viewing the entire plan here


Dalan Animal Health, Inc. ("Dalan"), the biotech company specializing in insect health, today announced that it has been included in the 2023 Fast Company Next Big Thing in Tech list in recognition of its innovative animal health solution, a the world's first vaccine to protect honeybees against American Foulbrood (AFB), a devastating disease that weakens and kills honeybee colonies globally, compromising our global food supply. This honor marks the third award in a series of top industry recognitions bestowed to Dalan this quarter.


In addition to Fast Company, Dalan has also been awarded the animal health innovator recognition by International Zendal Awards, which celebrates and financially awards innovative biotechnology solutions, as well as recent inclusion on TIME's Best Inventions of 2023 in the sustainability category for the promise the vaccine holds for both protecting honeybees and advancing greater biodiversity.


"Pollinators are the building blocks of our food supply and play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystem biodiversity. Without them, the global food supply as we know it ceases to exist," said Dr. Annette Kleiser, co-founder and CEO of Dalan Animal Health. "Our honeybee vaccine represents an important milestone in the collective fight for increased invertebrate health and environmental sustainability as we enable beekeepers to access proactive solutions for healthy, productive hives."


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), honeybees pollinate about one-third of the crops globally and are responsible for producing an estimated $15 billion worth of crops. Dalan's first-of-its-kind vaccine is a safe, organic, non-GMO, non-chemical prophylactic tool that empowers beekeepers to protect their hives without the use of antibiotics.


Since its development, the vaccine quickly received conditional market authorization for its groundbreaking vaccine in both the United States and Canada, expanding Dalan's ever-widening reach to beekeepers globally.


About the vaccine


Dalan's vaccine uses killed whole-cell Paenibacillus larvae bacteria and is administered by mixing it into queen feed consumed by worker bees. The vaccine is incorporated into the royal jelly by the worker bees, who then feed it to the queen. The queen ingests the vaccine, and fragments are deposited in her ovaries, providing immunity to the developing larvae. The non-GMO vaccine can be used in organic agriculture, and pivotal efficacy studies have shown its potential to reduce larval death associated with American Foulbrood infections caused by P. larvae.


Editor's Note: Anything that enhances bee health seems like a very good thing indeed. We have to admit that upon first inspection the term "honeybee vaccine" was intriguing and conjured up some unrealistic visions.


USDA reports:

Throughout an average day in 2022, individuals aged 15 and older exhibit two distinct peak time blocks for primary eating and drinking--between 12 noon and 12:59 p.m. and from 6 to 6:59 p.m. About 3 in 10 individuals engaged in primary eating and drinking during each of these periods.


While some people prefer to eat and drink while not doing anything else (primary eating and drinking), others opt for grazing while multitasking (secondary eating). Notably, between 9 a.m. and 9:59 p.m., at least 5 percent of U.S. residents participated in secondary eating each hour in 2022.


The top five concurrent activities during secondary eating included watching television and movies, paid work, socializing with others, playing games, and food and drink preparation. Examining the eating patterns of the U.S. population is key to better understanding the determinants of dietary intake and diet-related health status.


Editor's Note: Your tax dollars at work.

RNAi Pesticide Moves Towards Approval by the US EPA

TSTA staff


the US Environmental Protection Agency is moving towards a provisional three-year approval of a new pesticide targeting Colorado potato beetle. The new product, developed by GreenLight Biosciences, is synthesized from double-stranded RNA (dsRNA).


The Colorado potato beetle can be a devastating pest for potato growers and is highly susceptible to dsRNA which results in silencing a gene the beetle needs to produce key proteins. The dsRNA essentially "turns off" the genes responsible for coding protein synthesis and the insects perish from metabolic toxin accumulation.


The product will be sprayable and will be sold under the trade name Calantha. It is highly specific for Colorado potato beetle and degrades rapidly in the environment.


The technology that makes the synthesis of this novel dsRNA possible comes from basic pioneering work on plant and animal genomes and advanced plant breeding techniques.


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The articles, views, and opinions expressed in the Weekly Update do not necessarily reflect the policies of the Texas Seed Trade Association or the opinions of its members.