Second Cycle Soybeans
There is still time to plant soybeans in Puerto Rico. From lighted crossing blocks and hill plots to generation advance rows and small increases, Illinois Crop Improvement offers top quality services and seeds for breeders and parent seed producers.
Winter Farm Visit
Dale Wehmeyer, Illinois Crop Improvement Board Member, was a guest on our farm last week and we asked him to share his experience with you.
I recently visited the Illinois Crop Improvement Association Puerto Rico Research Farm with Doug Miller, Chief Executive Officer of ICIA. This was my first visit to the farm and as a Board member of ICIA, interested in learning more about the activities happening there.
Doug had a very full 3 day schedule prepared for us. Upon initial welcomes first thing in the morning, I was impressed with the extremely friendly staff at the site. During the morning staff meeting, it became very evident the desire to work together to meet the expectations of each and every research project on the farm. What a great team!
A visit to the lab gave an insight into the equipment used for evaluation of seed samples, plant diagnostics, and tissue sampling, handling, and drying requirements for clients.
As we traveled out to the production area, I noted how clean the plots were…excellent weed control, careful monitoring of irrigation activities, timely planting, spraying and harvesting, insect monitoring, and fungicide applications….all very professionally done. A lot of pride and "ownership" was evident as I visited with staff members about their activities. This is just what I would want if I had a project there!
Even though it was a short visit, I could see why ICIA has the client base and projects that are completed there. I heard numerous comments relating to clients being very pleased with the service, timeliness, updates, results and data collected for them. It was quite impressive, and the staff told me they were willing and ready to do more! What a great opportunity for new clients!
Doug tells me that he has a standing invitation open to anyone who is interested in visiting the farm, whether for research or to just understand what ICIA has to offer. I would recommend contacting him and taking him up on the invite…you will be glad you did!
BQMS Program Ends
The USDA Biotechnology Regulatory Service has announced it has replaced the Biotechnology Quality Management System with a broader online support program. Illinois Crop will continue to participate in the voluntary program as a foundation to strengthen its quality management practices to:
- Ensure all personnel are properly trained on requirements for working with GE organisms;
- Identify and develop control measures to minimize the risk or occurrence of unauthorized releases; and
- Monitor quality management practices and procedures.
While Illinois Crop Improvement is disappointed in losing the official recognition and external audit offered by the former BQMS program it is encouraged that the templates, guidelines, and checklists have been made available and are now open to all interested parties. Illinois Crop Puerto Rico customers may notice that the BQMS recognition will be removed from advertising and other materials per BRS requirements. However, customers should rest assured that the Illinois Crop Improvement Quality Management System will not be affected.
Proposed Revisions to Biotechnology Regulations
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing proposed revisions to its biotechnology regulations in a notice that was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017. This would be the first comprehensive revision of the regulations since they were established in 1987.
APHIS is proposing a regulatory program in which it first assesses GE organisms to determine if they pose plant pest or noxious weed risks. If APHIS concludes that a GE organism does not pose a plant pest or noxious weed risk, then APHIS would not require a permit for the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release (outdoor use) of the GE organism. On the other hand, if APHIS determines, based on risk analysis that controls on movement are needed, APHIS will work with the requestor to establish appropriate permit conditions to manage identified risks to allow safe movement. By "movement" we mean import, interstate movement, or environmental release (regulated controlled outdoor use such as in field trials). For more information visit the BRS news page or find the proposed rule here.
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