Seed E-News 
July 13, 2017


Share the Story of Plant Breeding Innovation with ASTA's new Better Seed, Better Life Video!
   
The latest installment in ASTA's Better Seed, Better Life initiative is a new animated video, produced in conjunction with CropLife International, exploring the history, and future, of plant breeding-from the ancient domestication of wild crops, to gene editing and beyond. Check out the video at the link below, and help us spread the word by sharing it through your own channels using #JustGrowIt! 

In This Issue
State
Kansas Considering Seed-Fee Increase 

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has proposed a fee increase for retail and wholesale seed licenses. Under the proposal, the retail seed license fee would be raised from $10 to $30 annually, and the wholesale seed license fee would increase from $175 to $250 annually.  This would be the first revision to the state's seed fees since 1991. The fees are expected to generate an additional $67,000 for the agriculture department and would be dedicated to cover the cost of seed inspections.
Arkansas Governor Moves Forward on Dicamba Ban
 
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson approved a recommendation from the state's Plant Board last week to create a 120-day ban on the sale and use of the herbicide Dicamba. 
 
The recommendation was formally approved by the state's House and Senate Agriculture Committee on July 7. Because the final consideration by the Arkansas Legislative Committee resulted in no action, the ban will go forward. The committee recently approved an emergency rule to increase the penalties for misuse from $1,000 to up to $25,000.
New State and Regional Seed Association Representative Joins ASTA Board
 
ASTA welcomes Executive Vice President of the Texas Seed Trade Association Bryan Gentsch as the newly-appointed board member representing the state and regional seed associations.  Bryan replaces Executive Director of the Oregon Seed Association Angie Blacker, who has fulfilled a two year term. 
Federal
ASTA President & CEO ASTA Testifies before House Ag Committee on Plant Breeding Innovation, Farm Bill   

On July 12, ASTA President & CEO Andrew W. LaVigne testified before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee on the Farm Bill and innovation in specialty crops.LaVigne stressed the importance of promoting a climate of innovation through the funding of critical Farm Bill research programs and the enactment of clear and consistent, science-based policies across the government, particularly related to evolving breeding techniques and gene editing.
 
See our press release for more information, including a link to LaVigne's fully testimony.
ASTA Biologics Working Group Seeking Members 
 
ASTA members have expressed the desire to have the association engage in a range of issues around the use of biologicals as a seed treatment. As this market is maturing, it is an opportune time for ASTA's Biologicals Working Group to ramp up its activities. The focus of the working group will be non-FIFRA regulated products delivered on seed.
 
If you are an ASTA member and interested in participating, please contact Jane DeMarchi.
International

ASTA Hosts Chinese Delegation 

A six-person delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture's Seed Management Bureau and National People's Congress is currently visiting the U.S. to learn more about the use of molecular markers in Plant Variety Protection.
 
During the trip, July 5-15, the group is meeting with ASTA staff, ASTA member companies, universities and U.S. government officials in Washington, D.C., California, and Chicago. The visit is particularly timely as the Chinese look to update their Plant Variety Protection law to increase protection for plant breeders and to include the concept of essentially derived varieties.
Canadian Seed Trade Association Names New Executive Director 

The Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) recently announced the selection of Dave Carey as the association's new Executive Director. Dave officially took on the new role on July 7, after having served as CSTA's Director of Government Affairs and Policy since 2012.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors in Political Science from Brock University. Prior to Dave's career with the CSTA, he worked as a Legislative Assistant and Chief of Staff for Members of Parliament from Calgary, Alberta and Oakville, Ontario. He is an experienced government relations leader, with an in-depth understanding of government and regulatory affairs, policy development and international trade priorities.
Meetings & Education
ASTA Annual Convention Proceedings Now Available Online

Video proceedings from ASTA's Annual Convention in Minneapolis are now available for viewing online. Catch up on the sessions you missed, or re-watch your favorites, through our proceedings gallery. For audio interviews and video from the meeting, visit the #ASTAAnnual virtual newsroom. Photos are available on Flickr
 
Also (in case you missed it!), beginning next year the Annual Convention will be re-branded the "Policy and Leadership Development Conference." This new conference  better emphasizes the purpose of the event-to chart the future course of our association and build up the next generation of industry leaders. Get a preview for what's in store at next year's Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. in our new video.
ISU Hosts Seed Conditioning Workshop Series 

Iowa State University (ISU) is once again hosting a summer workshop series on seed conditioning and quality testing. The workshops are small group settings featuring a mix of classroom and "hands-on" equipment operation at the ISU Seed Science Center pilot plant. The schedule is as follows:
 
Soybean and Small Grain Seed Conditioning             July 10-13
Seed Treatment Workshop                                         July 19-20
Soybean and Small Grain Seed Conditioning             July 24-27
Gravity Separation                                                      August 1
Gravity Separation                                                      August 3
Seed Corn Conditioning                                              August 7-10
Seed Corn/Soybean Quality Testing                           August 15-17
 
For more information and to register visit the ISU Extension website
Tomatosphere Seeds Arrive back on Earth aboard Dragon Capsule 

On July 3,SpaceX's Dragon spaceship, carrying more than 4,100 pounds of cargo and research specimens-including the latest shipment of Tomatosphere seeds-landed in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Los Angeles. The successful landing completes a four-week stay at the International Space Station.
 
This latest batch of Tomatosphere 
seeds is the first to include HOBO data loggers, which allow scientists to better observe the exact conditions the seeds are under while in space-including variables in temperature, humidity, and pressure through all stages of transportation.
 
More than 65,000 students participated in the Tomatosphere program last year. Do you know a teacher who might be interested in bringing this exciting program to their school next year? Tomatosphere is currently accepting registration for 2017! Learn more, and get involved here.
Other News
Explore eConnectivity in the Ag Industry 

AgGateway recently rolled out a new video touting the benefits of electronic connectivity in the ag industry. To view the video, and learn more about going electronic- through standardized transactions, barcoding and other systems - visit www.AgGateway.org and use the link on the home page, or under "eConnectivity Activities - Implementation."

AgGateway is a non-profit consortium of businesses serving the agriculture industry which helps member companies improve their profitability and productivity by promoting, enabling and expanding eBusiness in agriculture. To learn more, visit
www.AgGateway.org