The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is excited about the role of seed in soil conservation and new plant breeding technology that could revolutionize the industry. Those were two of the topics ASTA officers addressed at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) annual trade talk last week.
ASTA chair Tracy Tally with Justin Seed Company in Texas says they were pleased that USDA recently announced the withdrawal of a proposed rule to revise biotechnology regulations through public comment that would impact the new field of gene editing. “We really need to make sure for the future that our regulatory and policies are set up where this technology can grow,” said Tally. “It needs to be a science-based approach.”
ASTA supports key aspects of the proposed rule, especially the recognition that some applications of gene editing result in plant varieties that are essentially equivalent to varieties developed through more traditional breeding methods, and should be treated as such from a policy perspective. Interview with ASTA Chair Tracy Tally of Justin Seed
ASTA’s annual Farm and Lawn Seed Conference is held in conjunction with the Western Seed Association’s Annual Meeting in Kansas City every year just prior to the NAFB convention. Risa DeMasi of Grassland Oregon says cover crops continues to grow as a topic of interest as more farmers are starting to use them in soil conservation efforts. “We’re really excited about just being able to talk about the good things that we’re doing to help farmers do the good things that they’re doing on the farm,” said DeMasi.
The latest cover crops survey found that acreage planted in cover crops has nearly doubled over the past five years. Interview with past ASTA chair Risa DeMasi, Grassland Oregon