- On November 1, 2021
ASTA Comments Underscore Seed Innovation as Foundation of Climate Smart Agriculture
Alexandria, VA—November 1, 2021—Today, American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) President & CEO Andy LaVigne submitted comments on the behalf of the U.S. seed industry in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) request for public comment on the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Program. Quality seed plays a foundational role in enabling climate-smart agriculture production and forestry programs. LaVigne’s comments outlined the following seed-industry priority areas for climate-smart agriculture and forestry: plant breeding, cover crops, environmental and conservation seed, seed treatments, and public seed/germplasm banks.
“Everything starts with seed, and quality seed is the foundation of sustainable agriculture production,” said LaVigne. “Seed innovation, from the latest breeding methods, to seed treatments and new cover crop varieties, is what will allow us to adapt to the new and emerging challenges facing agriculture production and forest health, and to drive the solutions of tomorrow, for the benefit of our planet and our food,” said LaVigne.
ASTA members are committed to investing in research and development and depend on it to deliver products to farmers that address constantly evolving and interlocking threats from changing climate, water and temperature extremes, evolving diseases, and insect pressures. An increasingly warming climate means an increase in disease intensity, new strains, and the evolution of pests and diseases in areas where they formerly didn’t exist. Public-private collaborations are critical to advancing these goals. Appropriate policies can incentivize investments in plant breeding innovation such as gene editing while creating new jobs and market opportunities and boosting sustainability along the entire food value chain. Read ASTA’s full comments here.
In addition to submitting comments on behalf the seed industry, ASTA supported comments by the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), of which ASTA is a steering committee member. FACA consists of more than 80 organizations representing farmers, ranchers, forest owners, agribusinesses, manufacturers, the food and innovation sector, state governments, sportsmen and sportswomen, and environmental advocates.
Founded in 1883, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) represents over 700 companies involved in seed production, plant breeding and related industries in North America. ASTA is the leading voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world. The association’s broad membership offers varieties from alfalfa to zucchini and all production types including conventional, organic and biotech. ASTA promotes the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life.