Seed Science & Technology

Past Presentation Topics

April 2023 Seed Business Management Topics

  • Simply put, treated seeds offer an economical and sustainable way to boost food security by helping crops thrive, so they maximize their yield potential.  Unfortunately, they are misunderstood by policymakers who are proposing onerous regulations that would erode the multiple benefits provided by the technology.  This session will review these actions and detail the industry response.
  • Recent changes in the regulation of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, in addition to increasing consumer demand for more sustainable farming practices, have driven deeper interest in ag biologicals. To date, agricultural microbial products have been designed and delivered to farmers using a playbook designed for traditional synthetic chemistry-based tools; this has resulted in suboptimal efficacy and consistency of these biological products. The agriculture industry is just beginning to better understand the role biological technologies can play to help achieve the consistent productivity increases needed on the farm and the change in farming practices demanded by consumers and regulators.  This presentation will provide an overview of ag biologicals use cases and how they can drive profitability for the farmer and sustainability for the consumer.
  • An overview of seed exports that occurred in 2022, including breakdowns of where seed phytos are issued and the top countries seed is exported to.  There will also be an overview of common issues with seed exports and how those can be avoided.
  • Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is a critical suite of production systems to provide fresh produce to a growing population.  Seed companies are focusing more efforts on using advanced breeding tools to address the unique challenges and opportunities of CEA.
  • Global supply chain disruption and even destruction has rattled all corners of the world! Supply chain management went from being a business discipline to a household phrase. This webinar will explore the discipline of supply chain management in light of the past two years and consider both supply chain disruption triage and structural change in the context of seed management. Domestic transportation challenges will be discussed.

November 2022 Seed Science & Technology Topics

  • Presented by Keri Carstens, Ph.D, Jord BioScience
  • Presented by Chad Kimmelshue, Pivot Bio Biological
  • Presented by Greg Tylka, Ph.D, Iowa State University
  • Presented by Dr. Alex Cochran, DPH Biologicals
  • This symposium will overview the use of biological technologies both for biofertility and biocontrol for in field applications along with seed treatment uses in modern agriculture.  The overview will discuss how these technologies have evolved, especially in the past 3 to 4 decades and provide an outlook for the future use of biological technologies through the lens of a basic manufacturer.
  • Presented by Alan Gaul, Iowa State University 
  • Presented by Todd Krone and Paul Schickler, PowerPollen
  • In just 7 years Power Pollen has advanced its proprietary technology that collects, preserves and applies pollen, improving productivity and generating additional revenue opportunities. For seed companies, increased yield and management of environmental impacts improve margins and supply predictability. For farmers, in-season decision making increases crop value and enables additional revenue from end-use opportunities. Power Pollen is progressing with improved mechanization, cost reductions and expansion into other crops.
  • Presented by Kan Wang, Iowa State University
  • Presented by Fan-Li Chou, American Seed Trade Association 
  • Presented by Dr. Maria Fedorova, Corteva
  • The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for CRISPR genome editing is a superior testimony of the magnitude of this scientific innovation and recognition of its potential to have “a revolutionary impact on the life sciences”. In agriculture, genome editing is a major breakthrough in precision plant breeding. Applications of CRISPR genome editing for crop improvement can become an important contributor to reaching global food security and sustainability goals. The talk will provide an overview of the technical, regulatory policy and public acceptance aspects of CRISPR genome editing in agriculture.
  • USDA Plant Introduction Station
  • AgReliant Corn Seed Production Facility
  • Corteva Center for Seed Applied Technologies (CSAT) Facility

October 2022 Seed Health Workshop

April 2022 Seed Business Management Topics

  • Over the past two years, global supply chain disruption and even destruction has rattled all corners of the world! Supply chain management went from being a business discipline to a household phrase. This webinar will explore the discipline of supply chain management in light of the past two years and consider both supply chain disruption triage and structural change in the context of seed management. Domestic transportation challenges will be discussed.
  • The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) is the primary representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry, and the general public. In this presentation, Chief Executive Officer of NAWG, Chandler Goule, will touch on the outlook of the wheat industry, upcoming policies in the US related to wheat, and new research and techniques that are becoming available about wheat and its impact.
  • Jeff Johnson, President of Benson Hill Seeds, will discuss how he approaches leadership and career development with his employees. His motto: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough they don’t want to” – Richard Branson
  • A look ahead at what’s in store legislatively on Capitol Hill, an overview of the Farm Bill including process and timeline, what’s on the horizon with midterm elections in 2022, and what it could all mean for the seed industry. The Government Affairs team from the American Seed Trade Association, Janae Brady and Payton Englert, will share their experiences and how you can best communicate your priorities on Capitol Hill.
  • This presentation will start with a general explaination of carbon programs and a brief overview of carbon by Indigo, and end with narrowing the focus on carbon and the seed industry.

October 2021 Seed Science and Technology Topics

  • The AOSA “Seed Vigor Testing Handbook” provides information on eleven seed vigor testing methods.  Variations of these methods used at seed labs around the world, plus methods not covered in the handbook, significantly increase the number of testing options to be considered. During this webinar Mike Stahr will give a brief overview of methods and provide considerations when choosing one or more for a seed lot.
  • Seed treatments are now expected to provide protection against a wide range of pathogens and pests, and deliver multiple additional benefits to the growing crop. Gary Munkvold of the ISU Seed Science Center and Jeff Daniels of Corteva Agriscience will discuss trends in seed treatment use, including recent new chemical and biological products from across the industry, and the challenges involved in implementing complicated seed treatment combinations.
  • This webinar session will review current optical sorting technology and recent developments, with a primary focus on common seed applications and process flow configurations.  Discussion will include relative advantages of traditional and newer sorting machinery, multiple pass sorting operations, analytical sample imaging, and potential industry trends for seed applications. A brief review of the ISU seed conditioning workshop program will also be included.
  • The development of a new variety involves numerous decisions including resources required and balancing perceived risks and benefits. Gene editing is a technology that offers many advantages for variety development: precision, speed, and use of native germplasm.  In plant breeding, one or more forms of intellectual property (IP) protection are often used to help recoup research investments in order to provide future investment opportunities. This presentation examines interactions between the genetics and biology of traits with different forms IP in regard to varieties developed using gene editing techniques.
  • Tang will share his research and development experiences in developing robotic proximal sensing solutions for plant phenotyping. Dr. Tang’s robotic phenotyping work has been focused on developing system level solutions for both indoor and infield applications. His innovations encompass platform design, solutions toward autonomy, sensor customization and deployment, and machine vision and machine learning algorithms. Some representative projects include the Enviratron – a robotized growth chamber facility for accelerated plant performance research under changing climate; the PhenoBot – an autonomous robot for field-based plant phenotyping; the PhenoStereo – a 3D imaging system for high fidelity organ level traits characterization; and the Plant Stand Analyzer – a commercialized high-throughput (real-time) ground-based plant stand mapping and characterization system for large scale maize breeding programs.
  • Within this webinar Dr. Goggi will present novel research into the effect of seed size influence on seed emergence in the field and single plant yield. There will also be discussion of delayed emergence and its effect on yield.

April 2021 Seed Business Management Topics

  • Differentiation is a part of every company’s strategy.  But how do seed companies achieve that differentiation?  In this session, I examine how multi-national, multi-brand seed companies present their brands and compare that with independent companies.  I also talk about the various corn market segments and examine the opportunities in niche markets.
  • This presentation will focus on the outlook for federal ag policies in the Biden Administration and new Congress, and the potential impacts for seed companies.
  • We will explore the factors that shape global crop markets. We will dive into the supply and demand situation in various countries and regions, examine the pressures building on a variety of crop uses (feed, seed, and fuel), and outline the current projections for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 crop years.
  • The inner workings of the seed marketplace are as dynamic as ever in 2021. This overview will depict ways that the people, products and local economics are connected to national seed industry trends. The focus of the session will define two specific correlations: How outside markets effect local seed buying patterns and navigating the network of opportunities with higher odds of success. If you are familiar with mapping a route to market strategy, this seed marketing analysis will add new layers to your plan which can separate your business from competition.
  • Long lead-times, uncertainty, and demanding customers make seed supply chains complex. This discussion will offer particpants a few tools to use when considering seed supply chain management. Current supply chain trends related to the four webinars offered on April 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be addressed.

November 2020 Seed Science & Technology Topics

  • The importance of seed movement across international borders continues to increase as food systems evolve to strengthen global food security. Discussions include phytosanitary regulatory systems and how they are adapting to the increasing volume and frequency of seed shipments. Certifying the phytosanitary safety of seed shipments depends on national regulatory systems and international agreements on phytosanitary standards. Regulatory systems have evolved to manage the growth and complexity of the modern seed supply system, employing accreditation programs that involve collaboration among national plant protection organizations, state agencies, the seed industry, and academia. We will discuss the status of current agreements and regulatory systems and the development of new regulatory frameworks on a global scale.
  • The importance of seed movement across international borders continues to increase as food systems evolve to strengthen global food security. Discussions include how appearance of new or re-emerging seed-borne pathogens causes challenges for certifying the phytosanitary safety of seed shipments. The safe movement of seeds relies heavily on seed health testing programs. We will discuss seed health testing methods and challenges, and we will delve into several examples of how testing programs have responded to changing pathogen populations and phytosanitary regulations.
  • Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) protein system is a revolutionary tool for precise genome editing. It can be used for targeted mutagenesis, precise sequence modification, transcriptional reprogramming, epigenome editing, and many more. In this webinar, we will review the mechanism and process of crop genome editing. We will compare the CRISPR technology with conventional breeding, marker-assisted breeding and GMO technologies. Finally, we will discuss the recent changes in USDA regulation on bioengineered plants and its implication for future sustainable agriculture and seed improvement.
  • An overview of the requirements for a new plant biotechnology event before it becomes deregulated and released into the commercial market. USDA-APHIS is updating these requirements through the SECURE program which will be implemented over the next year.
  • The most fundamental and earliest biotechnological innovation was the domestication and spread of cultivated plant species, a process that began some 8-10,000 years ago independently at several locations globally. Further revolutions had to wait millennia but soon followed upon the rediscovery of Mendel’s Laws in 1900. The discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953 then set the stage. . .
  • New technologies provide great opportunities along with some challenges. A seed company’s goal is to provide products that enable customers to be successful. These same seed companies need to create a profit so they can invest in research to develop superior products. We will discuss how seed companies address these challenges in today’s world of ever-increasing sophisticated technology and complexity.
  • Review of current optical sorting technology and recent developments, with a primary focus on visible spectrum seed applications and common process flow configurations. Discussion of the relative advantages of alternative technologies, including a comparison with some traditional sorting machinery for typical applications.
  • The cover crop program of NRCS and the wide usage of products from industrial hemp have resulted in seed lab customers less familiar with tests required for sale and use of their seeds. Hemp has been tested since the early 1900’s, but testing beyond purity and germination testing is needed today. Cover crops might only require a warm germination test, but their use or sale may require additional testing. This session examines which tests are needed and briefly looks at how those tests are conducted.
  • In this webinar, Dr. Goggi will discuss the changes in seeds as they develop and mature in the plant, the steps orthodox seeds (most crop and horticultural seeds) undergo to survive dehydration. We will also evaluate the environmental conditions that accelerate or decelerate seed deterioration and death during seeds’ dry state, and learn how different levels of seed deterioration affect seed germination and regrowth under favorable and unfavorable environmental growing conditions. We encourage discussion and questions during this learning session.

November 2019 Seed Science & Technology Short Course Topics

  • Plant breeding basics and advanced techniques. Trait development and integration. Conceptually, plant breeding is simple: cross the best parents and identify and recover progeny that outperform the parents. In practice, pleant breeding is a three step process, wherein 1- populations or germplasm collections with useful genetic variation are created or assembled, 2- individuals with superior phenotypes are identified, and 3- improved cultivars are developed from selected individuals. A wide diversity of approaches, tailored to the crop species and breeding objectives, have been developed for improving cultivars.
  • Seed development and mutation phases. Environmental effects during seed development and their influence on seed quality. Acquisition of desiccation tolerance. Seed deterioration. Seed germination and seed vigor.
  • Field inspections. Direct visual examinations. Incubation. Grow-out. Indicator tests. Serological methods. DNA-based methods.
  • As the ag market grows and pushes for higher yields this causes the growth for Precision Ag Systems, dealing with aggregated data “Big Data” and remote sensing systems in agriculture.
  • ISTA and AOSA rules. Warm germination tests. Vigor tests. Tetrazolium tests. Purity and varietal purity testing. Trait testing.