ASTA's CSS & Seed Expo 2019 was held Dec. 9-12 in Chicago, IL. (AgWired photos)

Chicago, IL (December 12, 2019) – The American Seed Trade Association’s (ASTA) CSS & Seed Expo 2019 wrapped up Thursday in Chicago with sessions about new breeding technologies, equipment innovations, biologicals, and phytosanitary issues.

The new breeding technologies session included presentations from the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB), Kansas State University, Inari, and Sound Agriculture.

Peggy Ozias-Akins

The NAPB, which was incorporated in 2012, is open to all public and private sector plant breeders working on all crops, says Peggy Ozias-Akins, NAPB president and University of Georgia professor. The goal is to improve germplasm and cultivars for the benefit of humankind, she explains.

Ozias-Akins says there are opportunities to become involved in the organization, including on the commercial committee. Other committees include membership, advocacy, education, communication, and Borlaug Scholars.

The NAPB annual meeting is being planned for Aug. 16-20 in Lincoln, NE.

Jesse Poland

In terms of breeding efforts, a 60% increase in demand for wheat is expected by 2050, says K-State Associate Professor Jesse Poland. To meet that demand, a 2% gain per year will be needed, which Poland says be an increase over the current rate of about 1%.

“We need to double what we’re doing in wheat breeding programs,” Poland says.

Breeders are looking to improve on the 6 to 10 year cycle to introduce a new wheat variety by working on ways to make the breeding process faster and more efficient. Poland says his work is focused on promoting higher yield and quality while decreasing breeding cycle time.

Mark Stowers

Inari Chief Operations Officer and President of North America Mark Stowers says biotechnology has revolutionized how to look at crop production and improving farming across the world. The challenges are complex to introduce new crop traits and enhance genetic gains, Stowers says.

“We’re at a very unique juncture here,” Stowers says.

Stowers says Inari’s goal is to work with independent seed companies that are close to farmers to expand access to crop genetics and bring new products to market. He sees an appetite for collaboration in the seed industry.

For more about Inari, see its Company Profile in the Fourth Quarter issue of Seed Today.

Travis Bayer

Sound Agriculture CTO and Co-Founder Travis Bayer says the goal of the six-year-old company is to introduce new traits in a matter of weeks. He discussed leveraging an epigenetic approach to deliver stable and improved trait performance

“The conversion of traits is part of a massive opportunity in agriculture,” Bayer says.

VMek Sorting Technology General Manager Kent Lovvorn during the Seed Expo Educational Tour about equipment innovations. (John Reidy photo)

The Seed Expo concluded early Thursday afternoon after a second Seed Expo Educational Tour provided information about equipment innovations. Tour stops included Bratney Companies, Donaldson Torit, KSi, Neutec Group, Prairie Engineering, USC, and VMek.

For photos and videos from throughout the conference, follow Seed Today on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

CSS & Seed Expo 2020 is scheduled for Dec. 7-10 in Chicago.

Written by Chris Lusvardi, Seed Today editor

Other Seed Today articles from throughout the week include:

Equipment Innovations Tour Provides Look At Latest Technology During ASTA's CSS & Seed Expo 2019 12/19

Seed Treatment Educational Tour Returns As Part Of ASTA's CSS & Seed Expo 2019 12/18

ASTA Debuts Ag Tech Innovations Showcase During CSS & Seed Expo 2019 12/17

Hemp Seed Opportunities and Challenges Discussed During CSS & Seed Expo 2019 12/11

Seed Company Leaders Discuss Thriving Amongst the Giants During ASTA's CSS & Seed Expo 2019 12/10

ASTA Announces Winner of Third Annual “Better Seed, Better Life” Student Video Contest 12/10

ASTA's CSS & Seed Expo 2019 Starts With Presentations Including "Field Applications in Digital Agriculture" 12/09