September 8, 2016  
Seed E-News
In This Issue
At A Glance
Import-Export and Phyto Workshops Scheduled for November 


ASTA Import/Export Workshop

The ASTA Import/Export workshop is scheduled for November 16-17 in Seattle Washington.  The workshop will bring together representatives from USDA-APHIS, U.S. CBP and the seed industry to identify, discuss and troubleshoot common impediments to the movement of seed across international borders. The workshop is open to ASTA members only and space is limited.  To reserve a spot, RSVP to Kelly Crist by October 17. Please note that participants will be responsible for covering their travel costs.

Joint U.S./Mexico Phytosanitary Workshop

ASTA and the Mexican Seed Trade Association  (AMSAC) will hold a joint Phytosanitary Workshop in Mexicali, Mexico the week of November 14.  Key topics on the agenda include seed testing and pest-risk assessments. The workshop is open to ASTA members only.  For more information, contact Kelly Crist.


Registration is currently open for three upcoming ASTA conferences!  Are you registered?

The Farm and Lawn Seed Conference is November 6-7, 2016.in Kansas City, Missouri. Registration and hotel information can be found on the  Western Seed Association   site.  CSS 2016 & Seed Expo is December 5-9 in Chicago. Early registration pricing is in effect through November 15. The Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference, January 28 -January 31, 2017, will be held at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club in Orlando, Florida. Online registration can be  found here .  

For more information on ASTA's annual meetings, including the latest schedules and sponsor and exhibitor information, visit:
www.betterseed.org/events/annual-meetings/

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State
Minnesota Executive Order Targets Seed, Pollinator Health

On August 26 Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced an executive order outlining steps to reverse pollinator decline and restore pollinator health in Minnesota.  The order includes directives to state agencies based, in part, on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Special Review of Neonicotinoid Use, Registration, and Insect Pollinator Impacts in Minnesota
 
Some of the proposed directives potentially impacting treated seed would require additional legislative authority before going into effect.  However, others may not. ASTA is currently examining the order and its potential impacts on the seed industry and pollinator health and will provide more information as we have it.
 
In recent years, ASTA and its members have worked to raise awareness of proper stewardship of treated seed with both farmers and seed treatment applicators to minimize impacts on non-target organisms. In addition, ASTA members are advancing the planting of beneficial pollinator habitat and forage on a wide range of agricultural and non-agricultural lands.  It's important to note that all pesticides are thoroughly tested and reviewed by EPA prior to approval for their use as a seed treatment, and seed is further regulated by USDA and state seed regulators. 
Federal
Congress Returns to D.C.

Congress returns to Washington this week with a number of pending issues to address following their summer recess.  Time is limited for any action, as they are scheduled to begin the Columbus Day recess and will not return until after the November elections.

First on the agenda is the annual budget. The 2016 Congressional budget expires at midnight on September 30, and if a new budget is not agreed to before then, the federal government would shut down until a budget - or budget fix - is passed. Given the political climate leading into the election, it is expected Congress will not pass a full budget or omnibus bill in September, but will elect to pass a continuing resolution, or CR. This would keep the federal government operational and funded at current levels for a fixed period of time - likely three or six months. As Congress works on crafting new funding legislation past the CR, ASTA will be closely monitoring for seed-industry priorities, including the National Plant Germaplasm System, the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) program and wildfire restoration funding.  
 
For ASTA priorities, final ratification of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture remains on the Senate calendar. It was placed on the calendar in July but was not voted on prior to the August recess. We continue to monitor the situation and are hopeful the Senate will vote to ratify the Treaty when they return in September.
 
For in-depth analysis of the latest policy issues impacting the seed industry, subscribe to ASTA's domestic newsletter, PoliSEEDS.  Contact Virginia Houston to be added to the distribution list. (Note: PoliSEEDS is an ASTA-members only publication.)

International 
ASTA Delegation Travels to Chile


The Seed Associations of the Americas (SAA) held in-person working group meetings on August 23 and 24in Santiago, Chile.  ASTA staff and members participated in all four meetings, including seed treatment, biotechnology, intellectual property (IP) rights and phytosanitary.
 
The phytosanitary working group revised the regional comments on the IPPC seed standard that is currently out for country consultation; the seed treatment and biotechnology working groups discussed future regional programming; and the IP working group reviewed the draft seed laws for Brazil and Argentina.
 
While in Chile the ASTA delegation, along with the Chilean Seed Association and the Seed Association of the Americas, met with the Chilean National Plant Protection Office (SAG) to discuss several proposed phytosanitary measures that could negatively impact seed trade with Chile for vegetables, corn and wheat seed.  ASTA is providing SAG with additional documentation as a follow up to the meeting, and is optimistic about a positive resolution

ASTA-APSA Host U.S. Study Tour 


ASTA and the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA) hosted a U.S. seed-industry study tour August 15-19 in northern California.  Nineteen APSA representatives participated in the event which included meetings, site visits and field tours with a number of ASTA member companies.
In addition to member-company visits, the delegation had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the California Seed Association and the California Department of Agriculture.
 
Thanks to the following ASTA members that hosted the group: Rijk Zwaan; Sakata Seed America, Inc.; Incotec USA; Seed Dynamics; Golden Valley Seed;
HM.CLAUSE; Monsanto/Seminis; and the UC-Davis Seed Biotechnology Center.
 
  APSA's new Director Heidi Gallant joined the tour as her first international travel in her new role.   APSA was established in 1994, through the cooperation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and DANIDA, with the aim of promoting quality seed production and marketing in the Asia and Pacific Region. Today, APSA is the largest regional seed association in the world. Members include national seed associations, government agencies, public and private seed companies, and associate members.
Meetings & Education
New Features Await Attendees at ASTA CSS 2016 


ASTA will unveil a redesigned CSS 2016 & Seed Expo, December 5 - 9 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Two prominent new features at the convention are the new Roundtable Discussions area and a new lounge area in Columbus Hall. The Roundtable Discussion area, located inside the Innovations Lounge, sponsored by SGS, will offer an area for companies to reserve appointment tables and also provide an intimate presentation opportunity to customers on Wednesday, December 7 from noon to 1pm. Additional roundtables will be offered for "crowd-sourced" content during this special presentation time, for the opportunity for anyone to create a topic of discussion at additional open tables and invite others to join in the discussion.

The Columbus Hall lounge, located amongst the four large exhibitors in the Columbus Hall section of Seed Expo 2016, will offer a comfortable setting for impromptu discussions, refreshments and live streamed content from ASTA's plenary session series in the ballroom.

Registration for the CSS 2016 & Seed Expo is now open and early registration pricing is in effect until November 15.

Grow Something Magical in Orlando


Registration is now open for ASTA's 56th Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference, January 28 -January 31, 2017 at the Disney's Yacht & Beach Club in Orlando, Florida!  Online registration for ASTA's fastest growing event can be  found here .  Trading Room appointment tables and exhibits are also still available.   Click here to register .

This second part in our Disney series continues the opportunities for unparalleled business networking and interactive educational sessions, while building on the lessons learned from the Walt Disney corporation in Anaheim earlier this year.  More information on the schedule of events, registration and hotel information can be 
found here .  You can also view the conference  promotional video here .  

We look forward to having you help us Grow Something Magical in Orlando!


Register Today for ASTA's Farm & Lawn Seed Conference 
 


Are you registered for ASTA's annual Farm & Lawn Seed Conference?  Held in conjunction with the Western Seed Association's Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, the Farm & Lawn Seed Conference brings together more than 700 seed industry professionals from across the United States. This intense networking event offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with the key players in grass,                                                                                    turf, reclamation, conservation seed and much more.

The conference will be held November 6-7, 2016.  Registration and hotel information can be found on the Western Seed Association site.
Tomatosphere Seeds Return from Space! 


The 1.2 million tomato seeds sent into space July 18 onboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship have arrived safely back on Earth! The mission  marks the expansion of  the  Tomatosphere  program into the United States.

The seed-included among the 3,000 pounds of experiment specimens and space hardware onboard the SpaceX-owned Dragon cargo craft-arrived on Earth on August 26 in a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.  The homecoming concluded a 37-day stay by the Dragon spacecraft at the orbiting research lab.
 
With support from First the Seed Foundation (FTSF)
and Center for the Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS), the seeds will allow educators and students across North America to conduct their own plant biology experiments in their classrooms.
Seeding Success
 
It's your membership and financial support that allows ASTA to do this work and get you the information you need. Please encourage other seed industry colleagues to join ASTA and contribute to the success of the industry.


American Seed Trade Association | (703) 837-8140 | info@amseed.org | http://www.betterseed.org/
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Alexandria, VA 22314