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In this issue:
Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference Registration Opens Soon
FuSE to Host Colorado Ed Unit
Mexico Approves Untreated Seed for Organic Agriculture Use
NAPB and PBCC Annual Meeting Update
ASTA Participates in Mexican Seed Trade Convention
Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference Registration Opens Soon 

Mark your calendars - registration for ASTA's fastest growing event opens Sept. 1.  Held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina January 24-27, 2015, the Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference offers unrivaled networking and educational opportunities for the global vegetable and flower seed industry.  


Join attendees from over 25 countries for sessions on emerging diseases, organic, phytosanitary concerns and food safety.  Popular presenter Dr. David Clark, founder of the Floriculture Biotechnology and Genetics Laboratory at the University of Florida, will return to deliver the keynote address during the opening general session.


More information including a full schedule of events can be found here.

FuSE To Host Colorado Ed Unit 


The Future Seed Executives (FuSE) initiative, a subcommittee of ASTA, 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.  Registration is $100 for ASTA members and $150 for nonmembers. 



For a full schedule and additional information, visit the
FuSE website.

Mexico Approves Untreated Seed for Organic Agriculture Use 


After several years of discussions between the Mexican phytosanitary authorities and the U.S. and Mexican seed industries, Mexico will allow the import of several species of untreated seed for certified organic vegetable production.  Previously, Mexico's import regulations required nearly all seed species to be treated with a fungicide prior to entry.  However, in order to be used in organic agriculture, seeds cannot be treated with unapproved crop protection products.


Under the new regulations, eight companies in Mexico (most with U.S. affiliates) will be able to import untreated broccoli, cauliflower, chicory, celery, pepper, spinach, melon and tomato seed.  Upon import, the seed will be held until testing is completed.  If test results are negative for phytosanitary pests, the seed will be released for organic agriculture use.  The protocol also identifies countries of origin which are permissible, as a significant amount of seed is re-exported to Mexico through the U.S.


A full version of the protocol will be put on ASTA's website when available.

NAPB and PBCC Annual Meeting Updates 


ASTA staff and member company representatives attended the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) and the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee (PBCC)  annual meetings hosted by Syngenta in Minneapolis, Minn.  The theme of the meetings was "Breeding for Tolerance to Water Stress."  Attendance was up for the third year, demonstrating the growing support and interest in America's plant breeding programs.  Over 60 student participants interacted with plant breeders to discuss the leading issues impacting the community.  In addition, 69 student posters were presented at the event.

"ASTA continues to support NAPB and PBCC's efforts to increase the awareness of the demands on the plant breeding community in the U.S.," ASTA President Andy LaVigne stated.  "It is imperative to have a strong group of qualified masters and Ph.D. students coming into our programs to replace the number of professors and researchers that are anticipated to retire in the near future.  We have to be able to meet the growing demands from the public and private breeding arenas."

Through ASTA activities and the National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders, ASTA will work to coordinate and develop efforts with NAPB to drive increased awareness and support for creative programs to meet the plant breeding's future opportunities. 

"A strong, vibrant plant breeding community that has a solid public/private foundation as its core will help insure we have the bright young researchers, developers and leaders for the future of our industry," LaVigne said.

ASTA Participates in Mexican Seed Trade Convention 


On behalf of ASTA, Andy LaVigne and Jerry Monk (Warner Seeds) participated in the recent Mexican Seed Trade Association (AMSAC) meeting in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  The organization celebrated 36 years as an association and focused on the growing demand for high quality seed for planting in Mexico.  AMSAC Chairman Roberto Fraley, MarSeed Company highlighted the progress made over the past four years as the organization has restructured and began a new strategic planning process.  Key priorities for improving seed trade in Mexico have been developed and working groups have been established to take action toward those priorities.

The Vice President of AMSAC, Jan de Lange of Bejo Mexico, facilitated several sessions in conjunction with Executive Director Mario Puente.  Intellectual property rights, development of pest risk analysis', modifications to the Mexican seed law, adoption of UPOV '91, organic seed imports, seed treatments and many other issues were discussed. 

"Under Mario's leadership and strong direction from the AMSAC Board of Directors, the association is making great strides in addressing the issues that impact the Mexican seed industry," said ASTA President Andy LaVigne.  "We value the relationship ASTA has with AMSAC and recognize that there is a great deal of synergy between our two countries and our industries."

The Mexican government and AMSAC will host two key events in the coming months.  First, ASTA and AMSAC will host a phytosanitary workshop in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Sept. 30 - Oct. 1.  Topics will include sampling methods, organic seed and harmonization of testing.  Second, UPOV and Mexico will sponsor a meeting to discuss the importance of plant variety protection and the use of molecular markers and EDV.


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 

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