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SEED INDUSTRY NEWS 


June 4th, 2014

NEW PATENT AWARDED FOR INNOVATION IN CORN

California’s Ceres Inc., an agricultural biotechnology and seed company, has been awarded a U.S. patent for a genetic sequence derived from corn, covering uses of the gene in areas such as research, product development and seed production. The company believes that its gene could be useful in regulating plant development and key biosynthetic processes. Ceres plans to offer other seed companies a commercial license to the innovation, including an opportunity for exclusivity in certain crops. “We are currently evaluating the potential market for this gene among corn seed companies and the applicability of our patented invention in the development and production of improved corn hybrids,” says Richard Hamilton, president and CEO of Ceres.

KEYGENE EXPANDS PHENOTYPING

KeyGene has announced that the automated and robotized plant phenotyping facility, known as PhenoFab, has expanded its digital phenotyping service portfolio for additional crop and seed applications. New applications have been developed and are geared toward the crop protection industries involved in seed treatment, development of new agro-chemicals and biologicals. The new phenotyping applications allow the crop protection industry to test and precisely measure the effects of their products on the growth of plants and their well-being. Such studies help to precisely define the combined effects of the seed/chemical/biological treatment on the growth of various crops for different genotypes under different growing conditions. The ability to measure even the smallest growth differences provides customers vital feedback to improve their products and boost their research and development efforts, according to KeyGene.

PINNACLE ACQUIRES FRONTIER CHEMICAL

Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings LLC has acquired Frontier Chemical LLC. Headquartered in Beattie, Kansas, Frontier Chemical was formed in 2007 providing crop protection chemicals for area growers. In 2011, a second location was opened in Troy, Kansas. The business has grown ten-fold from its original volume, as both locations continue to provide a full line of chemical products, as well as select seed products. The Beattie location will continue to be managed by Travis Stuke and Jed Johnson will continue to manage the Troy location. Under the new ownership, employees of Frontier Chemical will retain their positions.

SYNGENTA U.S. PROMOTES/ADDS STAFF

Syngenta has hired Ryan Findlay as industry relations lead for cereals and diverse field crops, including sugarbeets, sunflowers and alfalfa. Findlay will manage the company’s relationships with commodity and agricultural associations. Terry Stone has been appointed industry relations lead for vegetable and specialty crops. Stone will continue his work with key segments of the agriculture value chain and serve as an important resource on sustainability topics within the company. Jill Wheeler has been named head of sustainable productivity in North America and will be responsible for ensuring The Good Growth Plan from Syngenta is embedded into the company’s North American business and stakeholder engagement plans.

DUPONT AND AGCO ANNOUNCE COLLABORATION

DuPont Pioneer and AGCO Corporation have announced a global collaboration to bring wireless data transfer technology solutions to farmers in leading agricultural markets, including the United States, Canada, Brazil and key European countries. The agreement will allow for the seamless interface of data and farm management information between AGCO equipment and Encirca services, Pioneer’s new whole-farm decision solution designed to help growers improve productivity and profitability. Encirca services are being rolled out in North America to corn and soybean farmers and will be offered globally over time to support a wide range of crops and markets 

FRANCE DEFINITIVELY BANS GROWING GM CORN

France’s majority senate has approved a standing ban on MON810, a type of genetically modified corn. Even though it has been cleared at the European Union level, the French senate says it poses a risk to the environment. The law had already been adopted by the lower house of parliament last month. “This law aims to give a legal framework to our country, to ensure that a ban is applied,” according to French agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll. France adopted a decree in March halting the sowing of Monsanto’s insect-resistant MON810 corn, the sole GM crop allowed for cultivation in the European Union.

DUPONT PIONEER USES NEW EQUIPMENT FOR TEST PLOTS

DuPont Pioneer researchers use state-of-the-art equipment to plant, manage, harvest and collect data from test plots. “We’re using specialized equipment for pre-commercial testing and product development,” says Jan Jackson, DuPont Pioneer IMPACT field-testing lead. “We can effectively identify the best products for grower environments and support the sales team in providing growers with the right product.” The Intensively Managed Product Advancement Characterization and Training (IMPACT) trial program provides local data to help Pioneer with decisions on crop genetics. IMPACT plots allow researchers to test dozens of hybrids and soybean varieties that are candidates for commercialization. The large number of local plots means Pioneer researchers can learn how products perform in a wide variety of growing environments. Data from the plots show which products offer the best performance in a given environment.

CNH AND CLIMATE CORP ANNOUNCE LICENSING AGREEMENT

A new agreement provides CNH Industrial N.V. and The Climate Corporation the opportunity for factory integration of select precision planting technology into CNH Industrial agricultural planters designed to optimize planting performance. The non-exclusive agreement “will allow CNH Industrial to provide producers the next level of customization and seed delivery technology in the market,” says Dave Larson, CNH Industrial vice president, agricultural equipment portfolio strategy. “It will allow us not only to pair the technologies and services of our companies, but to evolve them together to deliver significant improvements in planting efficiency and yield.”

BAYER AND KAIIMA PARTNER IN RICE PRODUCTIVITY

Bayer CropScience and Israeli-based Kaiima Bio-Agritech Ltd. have announced a collaboration to develop advanced hybrid rice varieties. The multi-year project combines Bayer’s and Kaiima’s expertise in breeding and technology in order to increase growers’ productivity in important rice-cultivating countries. The goal of the collaboration is to focus on the breeding of new high-yielding hybrid rice varieties using Bayer’s rice germplasm and Kaiima’s proprietary enhanced ploidy technology. “There needs to be a collective effort to sustainably address food security,” says Doron Gal, CEO of Kaiima. “We are pleased to partner with Bayer to develop a breakthrough in one of the world’s most widely cultivated food crops. By applying our technology to Bayer’s rice varieties, we can together bring new solutions to farmers that will help improve yield stability and secure productivity today and for years to come.”

REPORT SHOWS GM CROPS BENEFIT THE ENVIRONMENT AND FARMERS

A new report from PG Economics titled GM Crops: Global Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts 1996-2012, reveals that crop biotechnology continues to provide major environmental benefits and allows farmers to grow more, using fewer resources. A majority of these benefits are in developing countries. “In the 17th year of widespread adoption, crops developed through genetic modification delivered more environmentally-friendly farming practices while providing clear improvements to farmer productivity and income” says Graham Brookes, director of PG Economics and co-author of the report. “Half of the farm income gains and the majority of the environmental gains associated with changes in pesticide use and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions occurred in developing countries.”

THIRD NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT RELEASED

The third National Climate Assessment report has been released and is similar in many respects to previous climate assessments. The authors conclude that climate change is already happening across the U.S. The report documents how climate change is altering agriculture and forestry systems across the country and evaluates how these systems are likely to be affected in the future. The authors found that climate disruptions to agricultural production have increased in the past 40 years and are projected to increase during the next 25 years. By mid-century, these impacts will be increasingly negative on most crops and livestock. Many agricultural regions will experience declines in crop and livestock production from increased stress due to weeds, diseases, insect pests and other climate change-induced stresses. 

ISF WORLD SEED CONGRESS 2014

The International Seed Federation’s 2014 World Seed Congress will be held May 26-28, 2014, in Beijing, China. The congress already has more than 1,400 registered participants. Topics to be covered during the conference include new prospects in seed and seed trade, as well as updates regarding trade rules, phytosanitary issues and intellectual property rights. Seed World will be at the World Seed Congress. If you’re there, be sure to stop by our table, located just outside the main conference room.



 
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Mark Lynas on Supporting GM

 

Lecture to Oxford Farming Conference, 01/03/13 Mark Lynas on his conversion to support GMOs Learn more at http://www.marklynas.org

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