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In this issue:
CSS Registration Now Open
Chinese Delegation Visits Member Companies
Save the Date for the FuSE Ed Unit
Join ASTA at the Farm & Lawn Seed Conference
APHIS Holds Stakeholder Seed Summit
Seed Advocacy in Action
Fall Phytosanitary Workshop Set
The Draft IPPC Seed Standard is now out for Country Consultation
CSS Registration Now Open 
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Join us for an all new CSS experience Dec. 8-12 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.  ASTA's CSS 2014 & Seed Expo will bring a new schedule, revised to provide a variety of topic-focused sessions representing the most relevant and cutting-edge issues affecting our industry.

                                                                

Join seed industry professionals from across the US and from over 20 countries for an exciting week of collaboration and networking.  Participants from the most seasoned seed industry representative to new hires will benefit from attending. Registration can be found online.  Early registration and hotel reservations end Nov. 14.

Chinese Delegation Visits Member Companies

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 ASTA, in coordination with the USDA, hosted a Chinese Cochran Fellowship delegation July 21 - Aug. 2 comprised of high-level government employees who visited the U.S. to learn about intellectual property rights protection and technology transfer. 

 

The delegation met with officials from the U.S.D.A. Plant Variety Protection Office, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Cooley LLP and other representatives from the USDA while in Washington, D.C.  They also visited ASTA members' facilities including DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto, IFSI, Beck's Superior Hybrids, Dow AgroSciences LLP, RiceTec and HM.CLAUSE.  In California, these companies were joined by Sakata and Rijk Zwaan for industry roundtables that gave an overview of the U.S. seed industry and highlighted the importance of licensing and IP enforcement.  The delegation also met with technology transfer offices at Iowa State University, Purdue and UC Davis where they gained a better understanding of public-private partnerships.  Participants also met with Purdue's Seed Management Academy and visited gene banks at UC Davis and Iowa State University.

 

The delegation felt the training was very informative and open, and that the knowledge gained from the training program will strengthen the Chinese seed industry intellectual property protection system.  The exchange of views between the U.S. and China will continue to strengthen the relationship between the two seed industries.  The delegation reported having a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. seed industry's intellectual property protection system, mode of operation and application status after the two weeks of meetings in six states.

 

Members of the Chinese delegation visited Monsanto PVP field trial plots during their trip to learn about the U.S. seed industry. 

Save the Date for the FuSE Ed Unit 

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The Future Seed Executives (FuSE) will host an educational unit in La Junta and Rocky Ford, Colo., Sept.23-25, 2014. This three day seminar will include in-depth learning on seed processing, innovations in agriculture, the function of higher education systems in local agriculture and the evolution of the Rocky Ford Growers Association.  For a full schedule and additional information, visit the FuSE website.

Join ASTA at the Farm & Lawn Seed Conference

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The Farm & Lawn Seed Conference, held in conjunction with the Western Seed Association's annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo., will be Nov. 9-10 at the Westin Crown Center.  More than 600 grass, turf, reclamation and conservation seed professionals meet to network and discuss important issues facing this sector of the industry.  For a full schedule, registration and hotel information, visit the Western Seed Association's website.

APHIS Holds Stakeholder Seed Summit

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The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) hosted a joint seed summit July 15-17, which included representatives from seed companies, academia, the National Plant Board, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and APHIS.  Of the 80 invited participants, 13 were from ASTA member companies and organizations including Syngenta, RiceTec, Monsanto, Bayer Crop Sciences, Limagrain, Enza Zaden, HM.CLAUSE, California Seed Association, Endless Sky Partners and Iowa State University.


The recent detection of seed transmitted diseases in the U.S. like cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) prompted APHIS to hold the summit.  Participants discussed non-regulatory options to protect against the introduction of seed transmitted diseases in seed imports and how to improve seed export certification.  Other seed diseases that were discussed include wheat blast, corn late wilt and apical stunt viroid on tomatoes. 


Enhancing the scope of the National Seed Health System (NSHS) to include accreditations for supporting certain seed import needs as well as supporting the traditional export certification role was also discussed at the summit.  APHIS's immediate concern is determining how further introductions of CGMMV can be prevented and what additional measures are needed to block wheat blast introductions from South America. 


Joint APHIS-seed industry working groups are being established to move forward to develop  strategies for addressing exotic seed transmitted diseases, seed export issues, and strengthening the NSHS.  APHIS will distribute a summit report to all participants.  Once received, it will be posted on the members only section of the ASTA website. 

Seed Advocacy in Action

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 ASTA Chairman John Schoenecker and his colleges at HM.CLAUSE hosted California District 5 Senate candidate Mike McGuire during a California Seed Association sponsored trip.

Today's political environment presents new challenges and opportunities for the seed industry.  ASTA encourages members to talk to their legislators and Make Their Voice Heard.  Every member has unique experiences that can impact policy on the local, state and federal levels. 

Fall Phytosanitary Workshop Set

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ASTA and AMSAC (the Mexican Seed Trade Association) will host a phytosanitary workshop in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Sept. 30-Oct 1.  Topics will include sampling methods, organic seed, and harmonization of testing.  For more details or to RSVP, contact Kelly CristParticipation is limited to 20 ASTA representatives and 20 AMSAC representatives.  

The Draft IPPC Seed Standard is now out for Country Consultation

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In June the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) released the draft international seed standard for country consultation.  It provides guidance to governments for harmonizing seed import, export, and re-export criteria and procedures to help create a more predictable trading environment for international seed.  The standard applies to pre-commercial seed used for research, breeding, and increase purposes and commercial seed shipments.  It also includes considerations for conducting pest risk assessments for seeds, identification of phytosanitary measures for seeds, and seed-specific phytosanitary certification guidelines. 


For the past six years, ASTA, ISF, SAA, and other national and regional seed associations have encouraged the IPPC to develop this standard.  ASTA is reviewing the standard internally and is planning meetings with APHIS to develop a strategy to work with other key countries to ensure that comments developed by all parties are consistent. 


The ASTA Phytosanitary Committee, Veg Tech Subcommittee, Vegetable and Flower Emerging Issues Working Group and divisions will draft comments for review by the broader ASTA membership in September.  IPPC's Standards Committee will review the comments and make corrections and revisions to the draft, which is available on the IPPC website.  The standard could be put up for adoption at the IPPC annual meeting in March, 2015.

 

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 

1701 Duke Street, Suite 275
Alexandria
, VA  22314

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