Consumers of seed products expect healthy, disease-free seeds for plant propagation. A qualitative development guide for seed quality management practices was created by ASTA in July 2010. The guide follows Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles, and includes eight modules that span the seed production pathway from incorporation of a seed into a breeding program to commercial seed production and sale.
However, lacking international phytosanitary standards, seed companies routinely and freely establish their own diverse Quality Management (QM) practices that are expected to reduce the risk of contamination. This variability across the seed industry can lead to an unpredictable seed trade environment, further strained if phythosanitary issues are not quickly identified.
ASTA, in collaboration with North Carolina State University and Iowa State University, under a Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops grant from USDA, created a Phyto-Risk Model to quantify each step in the Seed Production Pathway, and asses how practices will affect phytosanitary risks.