Newsletter Sponsored by

Member Dues Invoices
Member Dues invoices are out!

We gladly accept credit cards over the phone for dues - call Cat 870-260-5342 or you can mail a check in to the Fayetteville address. 

All mail correspondence with IPSA should be addressed to:

 12 West Dickson St #1488
Fayetteville, AR 72701

to Jeff Meints on being appointed to the US Grains Council Advisory Team 

Jeff Meints of Titan Pro SCI, is appointed to the Middle East/Africa Advisory Team. Advisory Teams are an important link in developing the US Grain Council's priorities and strategies. Jeff Meints is the first IPSA Member to serve on the A-Team - we are very pleased that he is willing to serve the U.S. Grains Council and help them reach their mission of Developing Markets, Enabling Trade and Improving Lives. Congratulations Jeff! 
USDA lifts corn, soybean production estimates
In the  July update  of USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, officials added 190 million bushels to the corn crop (for a total of 14.25 billion bushels) and 5 million bushels to soybean production (4.26 billion bushels). At the same time, more recent figures on planted wheat acreage led USDA to pull 64 million bushels from its earlier harvest estimate, dropping returns down to 1.76 billion bushels.

Going to the grocery store has become a parallel experience to reading political opinions online - half truths, emotional visuals, and the ability to exist in an echo chamber only interacting with others just like you. This means true transparency, science and understanding is being eliminated from the consumer experience.
I am increasingly finding items that are labeled "Non-GMO Project Verified." It seems as if the "orange butterfly logo" has made its way to products on every aisle of the grocery store. I've encountered the logo on tomatoes, orange juice, blueberries, coffee products, and even water. But there are no GM (genetically modified) tomatoes, orange juice, blueberries, coffee beans or water. The 10 GM crops that are or soon will be commercially available in the U.S. include - squash, cotton, soybeans, sweet and field corn, papaya, alfalfa, sugar beets, canola, potatoes and apples.
The Non-GMO Project isn't telling consumers that many of the products labeled "Non-GMO Project Verified" don't even have a GM derived ingredient. Instead, the group is using its brand to fuel a business model that is based on fear and lack of information. That's the opposite of transparency.

To date, more than 43,000 products bear the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, which according to the organization is "North America's most trusted seal for GMO avoidance." On that same website, the Non-GMO Project also states pretty bluntly the following: "There is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs." This is fake news at its best.
In complete contrast, all of the following organizations have said GMOs are safe: The World Health Organization, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the American Medical Association, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, The National Academy of Sciences, The European Commission, The French Academy of Science and the Union of German Academics of Sciences and Humanities as well as 107 Nobel Laureates, among others.
That seems like a scientific consensus of the world's most respected organizations. Why would the Non-GMO Project not include that information so consumers can make up their own minds on scientific consensus? Could it be because it wants to sell more of its logo to food companies catering to scared and confused consumers?
Sharing "facts" that leave out parts of the story is a classic tactic for political or financial gain. The Non-GMO Project verification effort is simply a business venture that is creating consumer confusion in the name of transparency. Unfortunately, it is creating an environment that is based on inaccurate information and doesn't take into account the benefits of biotechnology.
Personally this is painful for me because I represent America's farmers and ranchers - many of whom choose to grow GM crops because they recognize and have experienced the environmental and sustainability benefits first hand on their own farms. And by villainizing these seeds, the symbol telling people GMOs are not safe attacks farmers and scientists who dedicate their lives to bring healthy choices to Americans.
And when I see food companies and even agriculture companies cave to the pressure to be "Non-GMO" certified even when they know that symbol is not based on science or critical thinking but on emotional manipulation, my heart breaks a little. 
Let's think twice about purchasing items simply based on the "marketing speak," and instead support real transparency so that consumers can make educated choices about what they're feeding themselves and their families.  

Upcoming Events


AASCO 2017 Annual Meeting
Charlotte, North Carolina 
July 16-20, 2017

GreenLeaf Summerfest
Whitewater, WI
July 18

US Grains Council 57th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting
July 31-August 2, 2017

ASDA Annual Summer Convention
August 3-4, 2017
Rogers, AR

Farm Progress Show
August 29-31, 2017
Decatur, IL

Farm & Lawn Seed Conference
November 5-6, 2017 
Kansas City, MO

Chicago, IL
December 4-8, 2017

IPSA Annual Conference
Indianapolis, IN
January 8-10, 2018

GreenLeaf Winterfest
Indianapolis, IN
January 10-11, 2018

Genetic Field Days
Keep an eye out for the these Genetic Field Days near you:

September 7 - Farmersburg, IN

September 13 - Champaign, IL

September 19 - Tekamah, NE

September 21 - Story City, IA

September 26 - Olivia, MN

September 28 - Harwood, ND

October 3 - Whitewater, WI
Stay Connected
Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View on Instagram

The Buckhorn Box Program has once again opened for the 2017 Fall season. Pricing per box is set to $470/box - a savings of $177.03 off retail! This program is a prepayment program with shipping starting in October from the Springfield, MO plant. Payments will need to be submitted before September 25, 2017. 

Configuration of the box is CF57456500, black 2 load document pouches. Contact Cat Ballard at or 870-260-5342 to order boxes or for any questions. 

Tennessee has imposed new rules on the use of dicamba, becoming the fourth state to address complaints that the herbicide blows into other fields and damages crops.

Creve Coeur-based  Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) is one of the top producers of dicamba, along with BASF SE and DuPont.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture said it's received 70 complaints about dicamba drift, according to the Delta Farm Press. On Thursday, the state agency issued new restrictions that only the allow products from a pre-approved list; that only certified private applicators or licensed pest control operators are allowed to apply dicamba products; that dicamba can only be applied from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and that older products are prohibited.

The new rules are in place until Oct. 1, the Tennessee agriculture department said in a statement.

Missouri  this week also issued its own restrictions for dicamba products. It had temporarily banned the products  until it received "safeguards" from Monsanto and other companies.

Kansas is investigating claims, and Arkansas has banned dicamba for most usages. Monsanto does not sell its dicamba products in Arkansas, which had only approved one other company's product, the company said Thursday. Monsanto sells its dicamba products under the Xtendimax brand.

Farmers spray dicamba, a herbicide, on crops that have been genetically modified to resist it. Monsanto has said it's made dicamba stickier to prevent drift, according to Reuters.

The agtech company held a media call on Thursday to address the dicamba controversy.

"It's an incredibly complex issue and reacting based on speculation could actually end up doing more harm than good for farmers," Chief Technology Officer  Robb Fraley said on the call.


Missouri joined Arkansas on Friday in banning the use and sale of the weed killer dicamba after a rise in complaints that the agricultural chemical is drifting into neighboring fields and damaging crops, the states agriculture departments said on Friday.

Dicamba use and complaints about its use have spiked in the past two years in the United States. More farmers are spraying it to control hard-to-kill weeds in fields planted with crops bioengineered to survive the chemical, which is produced by Monsanto Co, Germany's BASF and others.

The bans are the latest regulatory setback for Monsanto, which sells dicamba-tolerant crop seeds and licenses the biotech traits to other seedmakers. Officials in California announced last week that the company's flagship herbicide glyphosate would be labeled as a probable carcinogen in the state.

"Based on feedback and research, the Department of Agriculture is going to hit the pause button on all dicamba products," Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said in a statement.

Distributors are not allowed to sell it and farmers cannot apply it, effective immediately, but the state will work with industry to develop new handling guidelines as soon as possible, she said.

Missouri has received more than 130 complaints of pesticide drift this year believed to be caused by dicamba, the Missouri Department of Agriculture said.
Arkansas' 120-day ban will go into effect as soon as paperwork is filed with the Arkansas Secretary of State, said agriculture department spokeswoman Adriane Barnes.

The state's House and Senate Agriculture Committee voted on Friday to follow recommendations by the Arkansas Plant Board and Governor Asa Hutchinson to ban dicamba use.
The state also approved an increase in fines for illegal use of dicamba to up to $25,000, from $1,000 currently, effective Aug. 1.

Arkansas has logged nearly 600 complaints of crop damage as of Friday, according to the Arkansas Agriculture Department.

Monsanto, which does not have a dicamba formulation approved for sale in Arkansas, called the state's ban premature but said it would not have a material impact on earnings, said Lisa Safarian, Monsanto's vice president of North America.
The dicamba-and-seed system, sold under the Xtend name, is Monsanto's largest-ever technology launch. The company invested more than $1 billion in a dicamba plant in Louisiana and expects U.S. soybean acres planted with the Xtend trait to more than double from 20 million this year to about 55 million in 2019.



The Dow Chemical Company ( DOW) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with CITIC Agri Fund to divest a select portion of Dow AgroSciences' corn seed business in Brazil for a purchase price of $1.1 billion. The scope of the divestiture includes seed processing plants and seed research centers, a copy of Dow AgroSciences' Brazilian corn germplasm bank, the Morgan seed brand and a license for the use of the Dow Sementes brand for a certain period of time. The assets being divested generated revenues in 2016 of approximately $287 million.
The divestiture is intended to satisfy Dow's commitments to Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) in connection with its conditional regulatory clearance of the proposed merger with DuPont. The divestiture will be conditioned on Dow and DuPont closing their merger transaction, in addition to other customary closing conditions, including approval of the divestiture transaction by CADE.

"Today's announcement further advances the regulatory approval process, and maintains the strategic logic and value creation potential of our merger with DuPont and the three independent companies we intend to create," said Andrew Liveris, Dow's chairman and chief executive officer. "We believe this agreement serves the best interests of all stakeholders, including our shareholders, customers and employees. The combination of our portfolios, even with this divestiture, will create a much stronger Agriculture company with greater choice and innovation for growers around the world."

The established assets involved in this local remedy are incremental to the previously announced divestment of certain parts of DuPont's global crop protection portfolio and R&D pipeline and organization and Dow's global Ethylene Acrylic Acid copolymers and ionomers business, consistent with commitments already made to the European Commission and regulatory agencies in other jurisdictions.

Both companies are working together for a seamless transition for all stakeholders.

Dow and DuPont continue to work constructively with regulators in the remaining jurisdictions to obtain clearance for the merger and are making progress in fulfilling the requirements of the conditional approvals that have already been received.

The merger transaction is still expected to generate cost synergies of approximately $3 billion and growth synergies of $1 billion, and both companies have reaffirmed their expectation to close the merger in August 2017, with the intended spin-offs to occur within 18 months of closing.


DES MOINES, Iowa, July 13, 2017 - A Chinese delegation was in Des Moines, Iowa, Thursday where they signed an agreement to buy 12.53 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans.

The purchase (460 million bushels) would account for about 11 percent of this year's projected national harvest and is the second-largest purchase agreement ever in what has become annual events in Des Moines. China is the biggest customer for U.S. soybeans.

Jeffrey Xu, representing the Shanghai branch of Shandong Bohi Industry Co., China's demand for U.S. soybeans continues to increase.

"We see the U.S. soybean for the quality, especially for the protein. When the protein is higher, we have better quality, so we prefer to import more U.S. soybeans," Xu said.

 Xu described U.S. soybeans as a sustainable and reliable product for China's crushing industry. The largest buy occurred in 2015 when Chinese importers signed a nonbinding agreement to buy 13.18 million tons of U.S. soybeans.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said the effects of the Chinese purchase are far-reaching.

 "The first thing you think about is the impact on folks back on the farm," he said. "That demand impacts farmers eventually," Northey said. "Think about how that demand has grown over the last 20 years. China continues to buy more soybeans every year. Today's number ends up being a much larger number than it used to be, and it is something that sometimes surprises us farmers ... I'm excited for the impact on producers."

Northey also said the trade relationship between China and the United States cannot be overstated.

 "Without the market here, we'd be in much tougher shape out on the farm," Northey said. "Think back to those producers and how excited they are to be able to have this in Iowa, and have this kind of news that not only gives a sense of how these beans are getting sold now, but a reminder that this market is going to be there too."

Other items the Chinse agreed to buy at the ceremony included 371 metric tons of pork and beef. The entire purchase, including the soybeans, would top $5 billion. The United States Soybean Export Council hosted the signing ceremony.


American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) President and CEO Andy LaVigne testified today at a U.S. House Agriculture Committee hearing on the farm bill and innovation in specialty crops. LaVigne stressed the importance of promoting a climate of innovation through the funding of farm bill research programs and the enactment of clear and consistent, science-based policies across the government.

"As our knowledge of plant genetics and biology has grown over time, scientists and plant breeders have gained access to new information, tools, technologies and strategies to more efficiently address farmer and environmental challenges, and to meet ever-changing consumer demand," said LaVigne. "New and evolving innovations like gene editing represent exciting opportunities for agriculture. However, if policies toward breeding methods are overly burdensome, then smaller, regional companies and the public sector will likely be precluded from fully utilizing these innovations.

"In addition to domestic efforts, it's important that the U.S. government also develops an international engagement strategy to communicate with our trading partners to prevent trade barriers due to non-harmonized regulations."

The U.S. vegetable seed market is valued at approximately $860 million annually. Federally funded U.S. agricultural research has played an important role in expanding the understanding of plant genetics leading to new crop varieties. Partnerships between the public and private sector help ensure that farm bill research dollars continue to result in new products that benefit farmers, consumers and the environment. The new farm bill should maintain robust and long-term funding for research to foster the growth of a strong 21st century farming economy.

To learn more about plant breeding innovation, including new methods like gene editing, visit  www.seedinginnovation.organd watch ASTA's  new video on the evolution and future of plant breeding.

Syngenta recently reaffirmed its goal of strengthening its leading position in crop protection and becoming an ambitious No. 3 in seeds. To drive achievement of this goal, the company will bring together the leadership of the research and development and production and supply functions within the Crop Protection business, led by Jon Parr, and the Seeds business, led by Jeff Rowe.

As a result, Trish Malarkey, head of research and development, and Mark Peacock, head of global operations, will leave Syngenta at the end of September 2017. Both are members of Syngenta's Executive Committee.

"I want to warmly thank Trish and Mark for their outstanding contributions to Syngenta during their distinguished careers here," says Erik Fyrwald, CEO. "I wish them both every success in the future."

Malarkey joined Syngenta 19 years ago and has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2014. Prior to her current role, she held a number of senior scientific roles in crop protection, seeds and biotechnology. Most recently, Malarkey has led the research and development organization through a significant transformation, resulting in a research and development function that is the most productive in the industry with a pipeline that will deliver value for the company for many years to come.

Meanwhile, Peacock has worked at Syngenta and its legacy companies for 34 years since joining as a graduate chemical engineer. During the past 10 years that Mark has been a member of the Executive Committee, he has led a number of functions globally, including production and supply, information services and HSE. In these roles, he has led the continuous delivery of significant improvements in productivity and has played a key role in shaping our company culture.


Syngenta AG, the Swiss pesticide maker acquired by China National Chemical Corp. for $43 billion, is considering bourses in Europe and the U.S. as possible locations for a re-listing of shares in about five years.
"I would not be surprised if it was a combination of Europe and the U.S., as we were before," Syngenta Chief Executive Officer Erik Fyrwald said in an interview in Brussels Monday, adding that the final decision would depend on a number of factors at the time of listing. ChemChina's Ren Jianxin, now Syngenta chairman, has said he plans a  minority listing of the Basel, Switzerland-based company within a period of about five years.

With ChemChina's 18-month acquisition process almost complete, Syngenta is seeking to get a head start on rivals Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co, as well as Monsanto Co and Bayer AG, which are still tied up with their respective mergers. Syngenta is looking to strengthen its position as No. 3 in seeds and would examine all divestments made by its competitors to comply with antitrust regulators, Fyrwald said.

Syngenta and  BASF SE have submitted preliminary bids for the Bayer assets, people familiar with the matter have said. The disposals, which include canola, cottonseeds, the LibertyLink herbicide-resistant trait and the glufosinate weed killer, may fetch between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, the people have said.

While Fyrwald declined to say how much he thinks the assets are worth, he said Syngenta is prepared to spend a "significant" amount on acquisitions. "We are very interested in acquiring additional seed assets and we'll be taking a look at all the remedy assets and others as they become available," the CEO said.

A special thank you to all of our members!


Todd L. Martin, CEO
Independent Professional Seed Association