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Historic Low Food Dollar Farm Share in 20212021 Food Dollar Farm Share at Historic Low
Dec 01

TSTA Weekly Update, 12/01/2022

Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association
Member News

Growout Update.  Our Costa Rica location was to be planted this week but frequent and heavy rains have delayed establishment. If the weather forecast is favorable Costa Rica will be planted next week.


Puerto Rico is still planned to be planted the week of December 12th. 

Membership renewals were mailed several weeks ago. A big Thank You to those companies who have already renewed for 2023! Please check the mail for your membership renewal and member certificate and renew your support for the Texas Seed Trade as soon as you are able.

2023 Annual Membership Meeting Registration & Hotel Reservations


We are excited to return to Horseshoe Bay Resort for the 2023 Texas Seed Trade Association Annual Meeting, February 12th through February 14th. Join us for the 2nd Annual Scholarship Corn Hole Tournament and annual Super Bowl Party Sunday afternoon. Monday’s General Session will feature officer and board elections, a report on the state of the association, industry speakers and topics important to our business. The president for 2023 will host a dinner and auction that evening. The TSTA board will meet Tuesday morning and is open to all members in good standing.

We look forward to seeing you!


Participants & Sponsors Meeting Registration


Hotel Room BlockTexas Seed Trade Assoc. Annual Conference 2023


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!


12/1/22 - 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



Source: U.S. Senator Deb Fischer news release


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement after the government of Mexico suggested they will not negotiate on reversing a ban on U.S. genetically modified white corn:


"Any attempt by Mexico to ban imports of U.S. genetically modified white corn is wrong. It also goes against basic science.


"The Biden Administration must make clear that there can be no flexibility here.


"Mexico already agreed to the USMCA - a ban would directly contradict that agreement. Failure to enforce trade agreements with our allies would undermine ag innovation for years to come."


Farm Equipment magazine reports:


Corn and soybean production could be fully autonomous by 2030 according to Deere Chief Financial Officer Josh Jepsen. "We're committing to have a total autonomy and automation solution for corn and soy in the US," Jepsen said on a conference call with investors.


"It's technically possible and I am really excited about it."


To read the entire article click here.


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador signaled he's softening his stance on a planned ban of a type of US corn amid pressure from the US government.


AMLO, as he's also known, said Tuesday that he's considering allowing imports of genetically-modified yellow corn for livestock feed. That's a change in tone from previous government statements to phase out GMO corn by early 2024.


"Yes, there is pressure from foreign companies, from foreign governments," Lopez Obrador said at his morning news conference on Tuesday. "We are looking at yellow corn for animal feed." Most US corn exports to Mexico are yellow corn, primarily used as livestock feed, while Mexico grows its own white corn, used for tortillas and other dishes.


If Mexico follows through with AMLO's latest comments on the corn dispute, it would provide relief for US farmers, as Mexico is their second-largest export market. The issue has mobilized President Joe Biden's administration, as well as policymakers in key corn-growing states, including Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst from Iowa.


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) GMO Panel released its Scientific Opinion on the safety of genetically modified (GM) insect protected maize MON 95379, for import, processing, and food and feed uses within the European Union (EU) and does not include cultivation.


Scientists from the John Innes Centre and CSIRO Australia discovered Rht13, a height-reducing gene in wheat. This new finding may allow farmers to plant wheat seeds deeper into the soil without the adverse effects on seed emergence that is common when using existing wheat varieties.


Conventional wheat varieties that were produced during the Green Revolution put more energy into grain production causing lower plant heights. But these plants are unable to survive when planted deep in the soil where more moisture can be found because the dwarf plants fail to reach the top. Rht13 offers a solution to this problem by acting in plant tissues higher up in the wheat stem. This means that the dwarfing mechanism occurs only when the seedling has fully emerged from the soil. The gene also suggests that the additional agronomic benefits of the new semi-dwarfing gene may include stiffer stems that can help the plant withstand storms.


The gene was discovered after the publication of the Pan Genome in 2020, an atlas of 15 genomes of global wheat varieties. The researchers used RNA and chromosome sequencing to identify Rht13. They found a point mutation change that caused the Rht13 locus to encode the defense-related NB-LRR gene to be always switched on.


Further testing confirmed that Rht13 variation represents a new type of reduced height gene. According to the scientists, plants with this gene have more surviving chances in drier environments, and will have stiffer stems and possibly better resistance against certain pathogens.


The gene can also be rapidly bred into wheat varieties and gives wheat breeders an excellent genetic marker to develop more climate-resilient wheat.


More details can be found in John Innes Centre's press release.


Corteva, Inc. and Stoller Group, Inc. have announced that Corteva has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Houston-based Stoller, one of the largest independent biologicals company in the industry. With operations and sales in more than 60 countries and 2022 forecasted revenues of more than $400 million, Stoller brings immediate scale and profitability, with EBITDA margins that will be accretive to Corteva.


The acquisition of Stoller reinforces Corteva’s commitment to providing farmers with biological tools that complement evolving farming practices and help them meet changing market expectations. Stoller’s superior reputation for farmer relationships and demand creation centers around a commercial model that’s built upon sharing knowledge with the channel and farmers. Stoller has been successful by demonstrating technical excellence and delivering benefits and value of integrated solutions in the field.

Netherlands to buy out and close 3,000 farms to meet climate goals

Washington Examiner, Breanne Deppisch, Energy and Environment Reporter


The Dutch government is planning to buy out and close as many as 3,000 farms in the country, exacerbating an already-bitter dispute with growers as leaders attempt to halve the country’s nitrogen emissions by 2030.


Leaders said last week they plan to allocate some $25 billion to the buyout plan, which they will use to purchase between 2,000 and 3,000 Dutch farms and other large nitrogen emitters "well over" their property values.


If farmers do not agree to the plan, the buyouts could become compulsory. “There is no better offer coming,” Dutch Nitrogen Minister Christianne van der Wal told members of parliament last week.


The plan comes as the Dutch government moves to halve its nitrogen emissions by 2030 in accordance with European Union conservation rules. But to meet that target, the government estimates that 11,200 farms will have to close, and 17,600 others will have to reduce their livestock numbers significantly.




The targets have been met with outrage in the Netherlands. This summer, tens of thousands of protesters massed in major Dutch cities to protest news of the emissions cuts, blocking roadways, bridges, and key waterways.


Farming is a critical sector of the Dutch economy. Despite being just slightly larger than the state of Maryland, the Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural goods, behind only the United States, and its exports in that sector totaled roughly 105 billion euros in 2021 alone.


Emissions from farming are a major concern in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a nitrogen balance nearly twice the European average — the majority of which comes from farming.


But farmers have argued they are being unfairly targeted and that other harmful industries have remained comparably unscathed.


Others fear a reduction in the Dutch agriculture sector will result in higher-cost, less-efficient production in other parts of the world.


“Global agriculture, in some sense, is zero-sum,” Ted Nordhaus, the executive director of the Breakthrough Institute, a global research center, said in an interview this summer.


"So if productivity and yields go down in the Netherlands, it means that the demand gets taken up somewhere else," he said.


Editor's Note: Regular readers of the Weekly Update have seen indications this was coming but that hardly makes it less an outrage. Holland is not some backwater dictatorship but an ultra-modern country, representative government, with free and fair elections. With the stroke of a pen Holland goes from net food exporter to net food importer with apparently little regard for how that affects their national security, food prices, consumer preferences - and never mind forcing farmers to find another line of work. We have opined for some time that modern agriculture has reached the pinnacle of success evidenced by the fact that it is completely, and totally, taken for granted. It is hard to imagine the average Dutch citizen is so far removed from where their food comes from so not to care.


Lest one thinks this cannot happen here; as recently as last week President Biden reiterated he intends to close all coal-fired power generation facilities and cease all coal mining in the U.S.

A way forward for strengthening food systems resilience and autonomy in times of crisis

European Union news release


Editor's Note: Read this article in reference to the article above. You simply can't make up stuff like this.


On Monday 28th November, members from the Agri-Food Chain Coalition (AFCC) had the pleasure to attend an event in the European Parliament hosted by the MEP Marlene Mortler from EPP, and member of the AGRI Committee. The event focused on common solutions to be implemented from private and public actors to overcome the current challenges related to food security, geopolitical volatility, and skyrocketing prices due to inflation across European countries and beyond.


MEP Marlene Mortler’s opening statement reflected on the need to advance practical and affordable solutions to comply with the overarching objectives of the EU Green Deal and the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies. Ms. Mortler invited the European Commission to rethink all targets and current legislation to support innovation and precision technologies to safeguard food security in Europe and worldwide.


The Director of the FAO Liaison Office in Brussels Raschad Al-Khafaji provided a speech about the fact that “food security cannot be taken for granted” and that all actors involved across the agri-food chain, from decision-makers to governments and from businesses to consumers, are involved in the process of tackling food insecurity through partnerships and cooperation.

As closing statement of the event, the AFCC Chair Ana Granados Chapatte from EFFAB, The European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders, highlighted that ‘the AFCC has a big responsibility towards the future of the agri-food system by cooperating with MEPs through effective policies”’; she added that “smart policies such as the one on New Genomic Techniques and other innovations can help making our agri-food more resilient and sustainable”.


After the event, all members of AFCC and the other attendees had the opportunity to have extensive interaction and entertainment inside the European Parliament.


The Agri-Food Chain Coalition (AFCC) is a joint initiative representing 11 associations across the agri-food system. Members represent European farmers, cooperatives, and companies from the agriculture and livestock sector, farm equipment, plant and animal breeders, fertilisers, crop protection, animal health, feed, biotechnology-based products, and the agricultural trade.


Genetic ‘hitchhikers’ can be directed using CRISPR

North Carolina State University release


In a new study, North Carolina State University researchers characterize a range of molecular tools to rewrite – not just edit – large chunks of an organism’s DNA, based on CRISPR-Cas systems associated with selfish genetic “hitchhikers” called transposons.


The researchers investigate diverse Type I-F CRISPR-Cas systems and engineer them to add genetic cargo – up to 10,000 additional genetic code letters – to the transposon’s cargo to make desired changes to a bacterium – in this case, E. coli.


The findings expand the CRISPR toolbox and could have significant implications in the manipulation of bacteria and other organisms at a time of need for flexible genome editing in therapeutics, biotechnology and more sustainable and efficient agriculture.


Bacteria use CRISPR-Cas as adaptive immune systems to withstand attacks from enemies like viruses. These systems have been adapted by scientists to remove or cut and replace specific genetic code sequences in a variety of organisms. The new finding shows that exponentially larger amounts of genetic code can be moved or added, potentially increasing CRISPR’s functionality.


“In nature, transposons have co-opted CRISPR systems to, selfishly, move themselves around an organism’s genome to help themselves survive. We’re in turn co-opting what occurs in nature by integrating with transposons a programmable CRISPR-Cas system that can move around genetic cargo that we design to perform some function,” said Rodolphe Barrangou, the Todd R. Klaenhammer Distinguished Professor of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at NC State and corresponding author of a paper describing the research.


“Using this method, we showed that we can engineer genomes by moving chunks of DNA up to 10,000 letters,” Barrangou said. “Nature already does this – the bioinformatic data shows examples of up to 100,000 genetic letters moved around by transposon-based CRISPR systems – but now we can control and engineer it by using this system.


“To complete the hitchhiking analogy, we’re engineering the hitchhiker to bring certain luggage or cargo into the car to deliver some type of payload when the car arrives at its destination.”


The study shows the researchers proving the method’s effectiveness both in vitro on the lab bench and in vivo in E. coli. The researchers selected 10 different CRISPR-associated transposons to test the method’s effectiveness. The approach worked with all 10 transposons, although they varied in effectiveness based on factors like temperature and the size of the transposon’s cargo load.


“It was exciting to find that all of the systems we tested were functional after reconstructing them into genome editing tools from their native biological forms,” said Avery Roberts, an NC State graduate student and first author of the study. “We uncovered new features of these systems, but there’s likely many more relevant findings and applications to come as the field moves at a rapid pace.”


The research also showed that the method could be used with different transposons at the same time.

“Instead of just one gene – as is the case with other CRISPR systems like the more familiar Type II Cas-9 system – we can bring in a whole metabolic pathway to incorporate a whole new set of functions to an organism,” Barrangou said. “In the future, that could mean providing more flexible disease resistance or drought resistance to plants, for example.”


“We are excited about these findings and see the potential for applying these newly discovered systems in crop plants to accelerate the development of more resilient, higher-yielding varieties,” said Gusui Wu, global head of seeds research for Syngenta Seeds.

Barrangou and Wu add that the work in this study provides a great example of public-private partnerships that drive scientific discovery and train the workforce of tomorrow.


The paper appears in Nucleic Acids Research. Funding was provided by Syngenta Seeds. Co-authors of the paper include NC State graduate student Avery Roberts and former NC State Ph.D. student Matthew Nethery.


The abstract of the paper follows.


“Functional characterization of diverse type I-F CRISPR-associated transposons”

Authors: Avery Roberts, Matthew A. Nethery and Rodolphe Barrangou, NC State University

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 in Nucleic Acids Research

DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkac985

Abstract: CRISPR-Cas systems generally provide adaptive immunity in prokaryotes through RNA-guided degradation of foreign genetic elements like bacteriophages and plasmids. Recently, however, transposon-encoded and nuclease-deficient CRISPR-Cas systems were characterized and shown to be coopted by Tn7-like transposons for CRISPR RNA guided DNA transposition. As a genome engineering tool, these CRISPR-Cas systems and their associated transposon proteins can be deployed for programmable, site-specific integration of sizable cargo DNA, circumventing the need for DNA cleavage and homology-directed repair involving endogenous repair machinery. Here, we selected a diverse set of type I-F3 CRISPR-associated transposon systems derived from Gammaproteobacteria, predicted all components essential for transposition activity, and deployed them for functionality testing within Escherichia coli. Our results demonstrate that these systems possess a significant range of integration efficiencies with regards to temperature, transposon size, and flexible PAM requirements. Additionally, our findings support the categorization of these systems into functional compatibility groups for efficient and orthogonal RNA-guided DNA integration. This work expands the CRISPR-based toolbox with new CRISPR RNA-guided DNA integrases that can be applied to complex and extensive genome engineering efforts.


U.S. farm establishments received 14.5 cents per dollar spent on domestically produced food in 2021-a decrease of 1.0 cent from a revised 15.5 cents in 2020-to the lowest recorded farm share value in nearly three decades.


The remaining portion of the food dollar-known as the marketing share-covers the costs of getting domestically produced food from farms to points of purchase, including costs related to packaging, transporting, processing, and selling to consumers.


One contributor to the 2021 decline in farm share was a shift to food-away-from-home (FAFH) spending. Farm establishments typically receive a smaller share of FAFH spending because of the large amount of value added by FAFH outlets such as restaurants. As a result, the farm share generally decreases when FAFH spending increases faster year-over-year than food-at-home spending.


FAFH spending increased markedly in 2021 after a sharp decrease early in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Accordingly, the farm share returned to its pre-pandemic downward trend in 2021 after an increase in 2020.


The USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) uses input-output analysis to calculate the farm and marketing shares from a typical food dollar.

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