Purity and Identity Still Key
CEO Annual Report by Doug Miller
The Illinois Crop Improvement Association has had another successful year of providing essential services in support of agriculture. Our Puerto Rico based winter services provide critical data and seed to plant breeders and seed producers. The broader seed and grain industry relies on our laboratory services to make critical quality and processing decisions.
In July of 2019 the laboratories of the Illinois Crop Improvement Association transitioned to the newest version of the ISO standard designed specifically for testing laboratories. ISO/IEC 17025 is an International Standard that includes quality management requirements along with technical requirements to ensure accuracy and repeatability in testing. Since 2008 the accreditation has served as a foundational element of our relationship with our customers and our customer’s customers as well as regulators and researchers. Intra-laboratory comparisons such as proficiency-programs and referees, continue as a major factor in the new standard.
In 2019 the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) celebrated its 100th anniversary. I would like to thank AgriMaxx, Illinois Foundation Seeds Inc., and Syngenta for financially supporting the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies’ 100th annual meeting in 2019. AOSCA’s founding principles still serve as the core procedures for maintaining the identity and purity of seed and specialty grains. Since its inception in 1922, the Illinois Crop Improvement Association has provided field inspections and seed testing as part of a system designed to maintain the purity and identity of improved crop varieties and hybrids. Seed certification in Illinois still serves members exporting seed corn and producing small grains. Field inspection only and Quality Assurance (QA) inspections continue to monitor the core seed production practices established over a century ago. The seed lab, as well as other laboratories and programs, continue to support the process of varietal purity and identity that serves as the core of seed certification and a cornerstone of our association.
The financial condition of the association remains stable. Twenty (20) years into the new century and Illinois Crop Improvement looks forward to continuing its service to the seed and grain industries. New technologies are emerging and advances in genetics are breathtaking. In 2022 the association will celebrate its 100th anniversary. We look forward to the next century of service.