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Know Before
You Sow

Always ask if the seller of your seed is a member of the ASF to ensure you Know Before You Sow

Smart from the Start Checklist

 In This Month's Issue...                                                 


ASF new website launched on 19 December 2016

ASF 'Smart from the Start'  promotion underway

Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting - 15 Feb 2017

Correction Notice: ASF Code of Practice reminder when 'importing' seed

ISF Call for nominations 2017 - Committees and Section Boards

ISF IP Surveys - Request for Participation before 28 February 2017

ISF Bulletin January 2017 edition now available

Latest News from ABCA

Plant export industry advice notice

Russian Wheat Aphid Found in Tasmania

Project Harvest December 2016 Report now available

Weekly Australian Climate, Water and Agricultural Update

Save the Date: Leroy & Barbara Everson Seed & Biosecurity Symposium 2017

UC Davis European Plant Breeding Academy Class 5 - Oct 2017

 SAVE THE DATE - ASF SEED BUSINESS 2017 CONVENTION                                                       

SAVE THE DATE – Seed Business 2017
22 - 24 August 2017 (inclusive)
Stamford Plaza Adelaide
South Australia

The Australian Seed Federation (ASF) is pleased to announce Seed Business 2017 is to be held at the Stamford Plaza Adelaide Hotel, South Australia.
The dates for the ASF Seed Business 2017 Convention is from Tuesday 22 August – Thursday 24 August 2017 (inclusive).

Draft Agenda:
The ASF will be holding a Seed Industry Training Day on Tuesday 22 August (more information to follow on this) followed by Seed Business Convention on Wednesday & Thursday. The Trade Exhibition will be held on all 3 days starting on Tuesday and ending close of Convention on Thursday.

There will be a social day on Monday 22 August for those that wish to take part and a post Convention tour activity on Friday 25 August.
The Gala Dinner will be held offsite at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday 23 August.

Registration will open soon including details on how to book your accommodation at the Stamford.

The ASF has secured exclusive delegate accommodation rates in booking at the Stamford Plaza Adelaide - Watch this space!

Please mark the dates in your diary for this event.

 ASF new website launched on 19 December 2016                                                                          

Have you seen the new ASF website!
The ASF launched its new and improved website on 19th December 2016.
The new website is compatible with mobile and tablet devices to make it easier for members and industry partners to access the information on the go and out in the paddock.
What’s new and improved?
The new website contains more information for members, industry partners and the general public now having a ‘Resources’ tab containing a Submissions page to show the work the Federation has been doing, as well as the Pasture Database and Seed Links containing additional resources for members to utilise.
New ‘Variety Not Stated’ Tech Note Developed
The ASF has also developed its first Tech Note located under the ‘resources’ tab on the new website. The first tech note has been developed on Variety Not Stated (VNS) which we encourage you all to promote to your wider networks. There will be more tech notes developed in the new year that will be available via the Tech Note page.

New Look & Promotion
The new website has been designed to give a fresh, vibrant, and new feel with the intention to make it easier for the public and members to use as a main resource for the seed and agriculture sector. Incorporated in the new design is more exposure and promotion of the ASF Corporate Sponsors in having advertising on every page of the new website and to promote key messages and benefits of the ASF.

We encourage all members and industry partners to visit the new website at and for members to utilise the ‘Members Only Area’.

 ASF 'Smart from the Start' promotion underway                                                                             

The ASF is committed to becoming well-recognised for our leadership, advocacy, adaptation and solutions on the key issues facing our members.

One of the most pressing challenges facing our industry is the need to maintain the integrity of the seed supply and distribution chain all the way to the end use purchaser.

A compelling summary about why preserving that principle is vital to the future of our industry is contained in the Smart from the Start Checklist and associated description found on the ASF’s new website at

The ASF has launched a 6-week campaign to promote this checklist encouraging growers, resellers and seed purchasing end users to visit this valuable checklist and consider the advice offered when they are in the market for pasture seed.

The key messages this campaign will be communicating are:
  • Know your seed, know your future
  • The cost of seed is minor relative to the cost of poor establishment, wrong variety and introduced weeds - why risk it?
  • There is only one way to really know before you sow - The ASF Smart from the Start checklist.
The campaign will include a targeted email being sent directly to potential seed purchasers, along with a media campaign via the ASF Facebook and Twitter sites to further spread the message about the value in the Smart from the Start checklist.

If you would like any additional information about this exciting new initiative, please feel free to contact the ASF on 02 6282 6822 or via email to

 Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting - 15 Feb 2017                                                                  

ASF Members Reminder Notice

The Extraordinary General Meeting of the ASF will be held via conference call on the Wednesday 15th February 2017, commencing at 10.30am AEDT. See notice below for more detailed information.

ASF Extraordinary General Meeting 15 Feb 2017

 Correction Notice: ASF Code of Practice reminder when 'importing' seed                                  

In the last edition of the ASF E-Newsletter we used the word exporting seed when we meant importing seed into Australia from overseas. Please see below correction to the original news article:

The ASF would like to remind members that if you are importing seed from overseas into Australia and then reselling it on, you must ensure the bags and labelling requirements are met to be compliant with the Code of Practice Labelling & Marketing.

In some circumstances members may need to re-brand the bag or label to ensure you are compliant with the rules and regulations of the Code.

If you are unsure or need more clarification please contact either Bill Fuller or Alysha Lockley at the ASF on 02 6282 6822 or email

 ISF Call for nominations 2017 - Committees and Section Boards                                                 

Please see below notice from the International Seed Federation (ISF) for your information and consideration including the current positions held by ASF representatives.

We are seeking candidates with an in-depth understanding and substantial experience of the key topics in the relevant Committee or Section who are competent users of English at a technical level. They should also have their employer’s permission to devote sufficient time to their ISF work and to travel to ISF meetings.  We are fully aware of the difficulties of joining every meeting due to time and cost constraints. This is why we endeavour to cluster meetings together and choose accessible destinations where possible. This is also one of the reasons  we have invested in a more sophisticated teleconferencing system. However, nothing can replace physical meetings in terms of developing a deep mutual understanding and building lasting relationships.

When deciding which of the nominee(s) can fill the open position(s), a fair geographic representation in the Section Boards and Committees, region of origin, company size and expertise of the nominee will be carefully considered. In line with our rules of re-nomination in Sections, a departing member can be replaced by someone from the same country, but this is not guaranteed.
Following a decision by the Executive Committee (EC) and starting with this call for nominations, Committee membership will also be reviewed on a regular basis in line with the articles of Association (Art.15 ii), by the Board of Directors every two years. From now on, the members of the Committees have to be re-nominated every two years, and a departing member can be replaced by someone from the same country, but this is not guaranteed. This is effective from 2017, therefore please re-nominate your Committee members.
Committees and Section Board lists will hopefully give you the full picture of current vacancies. Please inform the ISF Secretariat if you wish to nominate one or more people for these vacancies. When you nominate someone, please provide some background information about your nominee (or a CV) along with a Supporting Statement outlining why you believe this person would be a good addition to the group.
ISF has several vacancies in its Board of Directors, Committees and Section Boards
Board of Directors (the ASF represented on the Board of Directors by Donald Coles)
Standing Committees
  •          Breeders Committee*
Requirements: Representative of breeding companies and/or breeder's committees national seed associations and/ or national breeders associations. In depth knowledge and experience of plant breeding innovation and use of genetic resources.
  •          Trade and Arbitration Rules Committee (the ASF is represented on this Committee by Tim Teague)
Requirements: In depth knowledge and experience of practical aspects related to the international trade of seed, commercial agreements, seed production and trade contracts, certification processes for import/export and members of national associations to strengthen the Arbitration Chambers.  
  •          Phytosanitary Committee* (the ASF is represented on this Committee by Michael Leader)
Requirements: Understanding of phytosanitary matters in relation to commercial traffic in seed and experience either in plant pathology or phytosanitary certification processes for import/export. Access to experts in industry, NPPOs, research institutes or universities is also desired.
  •          Seed Applied Technologies Committee*
Requirements:  From the seed industry, understanding of seed applied technologies and associated regulatory trends and challenges as well as contacts with and access to experts in the field (industry, research institutes or universities etc.)
Section Boards
  •       Field Crops*
The Field Crops Section Board comprises cereals and pulses, maize and sorghum and industrial crops.                   
  •        Forage and Turf Crops
Requirements: Experience in the seed sector of cover crops / catch crops and/or tropical grasses would be an added value.
  •        Vegetable and Ornamental Crops*
Other Committees
  •        Sustainable Agriculture Committee
Requirements: In depth knowledge of use of genetic resources, global goals for sustainability.
  •        Intellectual Property Committee
Requirements: In depth knowledge of various types of intellectual property protection and interactions of IP with plant breeding, biotechnology, and business decisions across a range of crops
*Nomination to Working Groups of Sections and Committees: An alternative to Committee or Section membership is to serve on one of the ISF Working Groups which does not require attendance at Committee or Section Board meetings. Our goal is to strengthen Working Groups to support the Committee or Section in the most effective way while limiting individual workloads. With this in mind, you have the option of nominating more than one person.

Please send your nominations by Monday 13 February 2017 to
bfuller@asf.asn.auThe ASF will submit any nominations received through to the ISF.

Source: International Seed Federation. 'Call for Nominations 2017 - Committees and Section Boards'. 12/01/2017. 

 ISF IP Surveys - Request for Participation before 28 February 2017                                             

Please see below surveys and background explanation of the issues which the ISF Intellectual property Committee would like to get your input on.
The Intellectual property Committee is working on two important topics for the seed sector and would need your help to better assess the needs of the companies.

Deadline to complete surveys: before 28 February 2017

Please be aware that the surveys are anonymous and your IP address will not be recorded by Survey Monkey. Only one person from the ISF Secretariat will access these anonymous results and will disclose only collated information to the members of the IPC (including the Chair).
  1. Survey on Illegal Seed Practices to be forwarded to your members active in seed breeding, production, trading, multiplication. National Seed Associations can also directly reply to it:
During the recent ISF Mid-term meetings, a new Working Group on “Illegal Seed Practices” (ISP WG) was established. The Working Group is composed of members of the Intellectual Property Committee, as well as one member each from the Forage & Turf, Vegetable & Ornamental and Field Crop Sections, representatives of national/regional seed associations, the Anti-Infringement Bureau, and the Breeders Trust.
The objectives of the ISP WG are “to raise awareness of the increasing number of illegal seed practices, to work on a clear and coherent statement, and at a later stage to develop and promulgate a code of conduct for our industry and propose strategies to prevent infringements”. 

For the moment the following three aspects are “in scope” of the Working Group:
  • PVP infringement:
    • Occurrence of illegal practices during the reproduction and marketing of PVP or patented seed (hybrids and OP varieties): Vegetables, Field Crops, Forage & Turf
    • Non-declaration / misuse of farm saved seed : Field Crops, Forage & Turf
    • Occurrence of illegal practices during the vegetative propagation of hybrids: Vegetables, Ornamentals (not yet part of the group)
  • Other infringement: 
    • Misuse of trademarks
  • Regulatory offenses: 
    • Fraudulent labelling of varieties: Vegetables, Field Crops, Forage & Turf
    • Misuse of variety denomination: all crops
    • Abuse of OECD / national seed certification schemes (forged labels and certificates): Forage & Turf, Field Crops
    • Misuse of grain as seed and using of discarded seed: Field Crops, Forage & Turf
Initially, it is important to establish a baseline of the current situation. We therefore request your  participation in this survey, the goal of which is to collect information and data to understand the national situations at a global level. We are aware that this differs from country to country, therefore we are counting on your support to provide us with precise information. 
  1. Survey on the current state of IP needs, practices and satisfaction, to be sent to your members active in seed breeding only:
The ability to obtain effective Intellectual Property (IP) protection fosters your capacities to develop and deploy new varieties and technologies. Many factors determine the effectiveness of IP: the biology of the crop (self-pollinated or hybrid), forms of IP that are available in countries of breeding, production and sale of seed or where harvested produce is consumed. Effectiveness is also dependent upon IP laws in place, the degree to which they are respected, and that legal recourse is practical and available. Other factors might also determine the effectiveness of IP like a change in time required to recoup research costs. Technical and scientific advances bring new opportunities to plant breeding (for example the ability to clone hybrid tomatoes, or to more quickly make a distinct version of an existing variety) but also uncertainty regarding their intellectual protection.
IP is a critical consideration for ISF. Effective IP provides a level playing field promoting fair competition. The level of effectiveness in IP determines the nature of member’s businesses, the level of innovative research, and ultimately the level of service and satisfaction that is provided to meet the needs of customers. The specifics of IP have changed over time to accommodate new technologies. For example, the introduction of UPOV 1991, or the introduction of utility patents for innovations in biotechnological traits.

Plant breeders know that it is important to look forward, and this is especially the case when a single cycle of variety development takes from 7-15 years. Other research projects may take longer to reach fruition, and many may simply fail to pan out. For the long-term benefit of its members, ISF must also look ahead in terms of helping to achieve regional and global IP environments that will best serve its members and ultimately best help advance increased and sustainable agricultural productivity.

For ISF to be best able to serve its members achieve this important goal, we seek input from you to better understand 1) the level of effectiveness of the IP environment you experience today through the use of PVPs, patents and trademarks, and 2) elements of what might constitute a potential future IP environment.

In order to be as precise as possible and to evaluate the different needs, the survey is built per crop (hybrid field crops, non-hybrid field crops, vegetable, forage & turf, mushroom) and precisions are asked on the region/country. Following this initial analysis, we will engage further in dialogue with ISF members on the development of potential future IP scenarios.
*The surveys are anonymous and your IP address will not be recorded by Survey Monkey. Only one person from the ISF Secretariat will access these anonymous results and will disclose only collated information to the members of the IPC (including the Chair). The content and process of the survey have been checked and approved by ISF Anti Trust solicitor.

Source: International Seed Federation. 'ISF IP Surveys - Request for participation'. 31/01/2017. 

 ISF Bulletin January 2017 edition now avaiable                                                                              

The International Seed Federation (ISF) Bulletin January 2017 edition is now available.

In this edition:
  • Michael's Message
  • Convention on Biological Diversity meetings
  • ISHI-Veg technical meeting
  • ISF welcomes new Mushroom Group
  • Intellectual Property surveys
  • ePhyto survey
  • ISF Good Practice Guide: Vegetable Seed Production
  • ISF World Seed Congress update
  • ISF Brand Guidelines
For this edition online click on - ISF Bulletin January 2017 edition

Source: International Seed Federation.'ISF Bulletin January 2017'. 01/02/2017.

 Latest News from ABCA                                                                                                           

The ASF is a member of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia (ABCA).

For the latest news on Agricultural Biotechnology including the following new articles since the last E-News, please click on the website link below.
  • AUS - WA GM crops free areas bill repealed
  • AUS - WA GM repeal bill update
  • AUS - Lift GM crop bans says report
  • CANADA - Greenpeace founder leads GM rice support
  • CANADA - The cost of the Aussie GM canola bans
  • INDIA - GM Mustard "Safe"
  • USA - GM Salmon is "Safe"
Source: Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia (ABCA) - Latest News (2017).

 Plant export industry advice notice                                                                                                  

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have the following plant export industry advice notice for your information and consideration.

2017-02 - Plant Export Operations - RFPs must be accurate prior to inspection

This Industry Advice Notice (IAN) is to remind exporters that prior to inspection, the 'request for permit' (RFP) must accurately match the consignment. See below link above for more information.

Source: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Plant Export Operations Branch. 18/01/2017.

 Russian Wheat Aphid Found in Tasmania                                                                                       

Biosecurity Advisory 1/ 2017

Please see below notice from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), for your information.

Russian wheat aphid, a serious insect pest of wheat, barley and some other cereal crops has been detected in Tasmania near Cressy.  It was first detected in Australia 13 May 2016 in South Australia and spread rapidly to Victoria and New South Wales. The National Management Group determined it was not technically feasible to eradicate the aphid for several reasons including its wide distribution soon after detection. It most likely spread to Tasmania on northerly airflows.

Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia, is a small green aphid whose feeding produces strong plant symptoms due to the injection of saliva into the plant. Symptoms include rolled leaves, chlorotic spots, leaf streaking, trapped awns giving a hooked appearance and stunted crop. These aphids spend their entire life on cereals and grasses. They survive only a few days without feeding on suitable plants. The hosts that are most severely affected are barley and wheat. Other primary hosts include durum wheat, field broom grass, Elymus sp. and jointed goatgrass. Secondary hosts allow the aphid to survive but not reproduce. These include cereal rye, triticale and various grasses such as oats, tall wheat grass and Indian rice grass.

The presence of the aphid is not an export quarantine issue. Russian wheat aphids are best adapted to the dry climate of the mainland Australian wheat belt and are not well adapted to the moist Tasmanian climate.
Natural control by brown lacewings, ladybirds and hoverflies is likely to be strong in Tasmania.

What to do if you think you have found Russian wheat aphid
Plant Diagnostic Services in Biosecurity Tasmania (DPIPWE) will identify aphids suspected of being Russian wheat aphid free of charge. Specimens or images can be submitted to a DPIPWE entomologist call 1300 368 550 to be directed to an entomologist. Samples of plants bearing aphids should be secured in sealed double plastic bags along with some absorbent paper towel.

More information
Source: Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE). 19/01/2017.

 Project Harvest December 2016 Report now available                                                                   

There is an increasing need in Australia's horticulture industry to monitor and gauge consumer perception and behaviour in relation to fresh vegetables.

Colmar Brunton conducts monthly on-line tracking following specified vegetables, monthly trends analysis, and additional ad-hoc projects to assist in this understanding of consumers.

Project Harvest is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIA) using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Contents in this report
- Cabbage
- Celery
- Cucumber
- Zucchini
- Eggplant
- Spring Onion
- Radish
To download the full report for December 2016 - 
Click here
Source: AUSVEG Limited. 'Project Harvest consumer research'. Email Alert. 25/01/2017. 

 Weekly Australian Climate, Water and Agricultural Update                                                           

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has issued a 'Weekly Australian Climate, Water and Agricultural Update' for your information and consideration. 

This report contains information previously published in the Australian Climate and Agricultural Monthly Update. By combining the weekly and monthly updates it has allowed for improved access to up-to-date climate, water and commodity information in a single report. 

Report Information (27/01/2017) - Click here

Source: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. 'Weekly ABARES report'. 27/01/2017. 
                                                 12 April 2017 - Gateway Hotel & Conference Centre 
                                                                                    Ames, Iowa

Topics of discussion will include recent technologies, trends, regulations, and educational platforms impacting the seed industry and food security.

Who Should Attend: Industry professionals, farmers, academics, scientists, and students.

Student Poster Competition: Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to present research posters related to all aspects of seed and food security. Cash prizes will be awarded.

Contact: Cassie Welch, Symposium Coordinator, at or phone 515-294-5681.

For more information please visit the website at

Source: Iowa State University Seed Science Centre. 'Save the Date: 2017 Everson Symposium'. 07/01/2017.

 Seed Production Course to be held from 14-16 February 2017                                                      
The next Seed Production course will be offered February 14-16, 2017 in Davis, California at the UC Davis Conference Center.

This 3 day course is designed to enhance participants’ knowledge of the underlying biology of seed production and the key roles of bees and other insect pollinators, how to manage seed crops from agronomic, quality control, and genetic integrity standpoints, and how to meet new challenges through seed production research. The course is being offered again after a very successful initial offering in February 2016.
  • Targeted participants include seed production professionals and others who would benefit by knowing more about how to grow, manage and process crops for seed and to attain and enhance seed quality. Participant interactions are fostered and reinforced by break-out group discussions addressing the key topics presented.
  • The course includes wet-seeded vegetable crops (cucurbits, tomatoes and peppers), dry-seeded vegetable crops (brassicas, carrots, onions, spinach and lettuce), and agronomic crops (sunflower, alfalfa and forages, canola, cereals and corn). Attention is also given to organic seed production.
The number of participants is limited. For course and registration information, click here or contact Sally Mohr at

Source: UC Davis. ' Seed Production Course'. Email Alert. 26/10/2016

 UC Davis European Plant Breeding Academy Class 5 - Oct 2017                                                  

UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy (PBA) is a professional certificate program offered since 2006 with classes in USA, Europe, Africa and Asia.  To date, the program has trained more than 230 breeders, 80% of which are from the private seed industry.  Class 5 of the European PBA will start in October 2017 and it is now open for registration.
The 2017 class core curriculum will maintain the upgrades from the previous classes and add modules to address the most recent development in plant breeding theory and practice.

Dates and locations:
Oct 2-7, 2017, Enkhuizen, Netherlands
Mar 5-10, 2018, Angers, France
June 25-30, 2018, Gatersleben, Germany
Oct 1-6, 2018, Gent, Belgium
Mar 4-9, 2019, Almeria, Spain
June 24-29, 2019, Davis, CA

For more information on the UC Davis European Plant Breeding Academy contact Joy Patterson at or visit

Source: UC Davis European Plant Breeding Academy. Email Alert. 31/10/2016.

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The Australian Seed Federation accepts no liability of any form or loss, damage or harm of any type however caused by the opinions expressed, and/or advertisements included in the Seed Business E-News. All design material in the E-News is copyright and is protected, and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Australian Seed Federation.
Copyright © 2017. Australian Seed Federation Limited, All rights reserved.

Alysha Lockley | Business Services Manager | Australian Seed Federation
PO Box 3572 | MANUKA ACT 2603 | 1/ 20 Napier Close | DEAKIN ACT 2600
Tel 02 6282 6822 | Fax 02 6282 6922 | Web |

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