Illinois Crop e-Updates

May 11, 2017

Doug Miller, Illinois Crop CEO, attended the ASTA meeting on May 9, 2017 and was impressed by the discussions of all of the issues including seed testing. If you have questions about weed seed issues please feel free to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or one of our accredited analysts This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., RST or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., RGT.

ASTA Hosts Meeting to Discuss Palmer Amaranth, Other Weed Issues

On May 9, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) hosted a meeting of grower groups, seed companies, and state government officials to discuss a collaborative approach to addressing Palmer amaranth and other weed seed issues. The meeting, which took place in Des Moines, Iowa, served as a productive information-exchange and strategic dialog about potential short- and long-term solutions.

"Weeds like Palmer amaranth move through many different routes, so controlling them requires an active, unified strategy, including growers, industry and government," said ASTA President & CEO Andrew W. LaVigne. "The meeting brought together key stakeholders to discuss lessons learned, and strategies for collaboration moving forward as we deal with Palmer amaranth and other new and emerging weed seed issues."

The meeting raised awareness about the importance of state seed regulatory systems. When it comes to purchasing seed, meeting participants underscored the need to communicate with growers the importance of buying professionally produced seed from a company licensed to do business in the state, and specifically checking if seed was tested both for performance and for presence of Palmer amaranth and other weeds.

Professional regional seed suppliers take great care in managing seed production to reduce the presence of diseases, pests and weeds to meet local needs. This includes field preparation and inspections throughout the growing process; properly cleaning seed using state-of-the-art equipment to maintain quality; and testing to ensure high-quality performance standards are met. Seed companies must also comply with federal and state requirements for seed purity and germination, and these results must be listed on the seed tag. Click here for more information on environmental and conservation seed, including a list of professional seed suppliers in each region of the U.S. Seed industry Best Management Practices for Native Seed production can be found here.

Farmers who have identified Palmer amaranth in fields or conservation plantings are urged to contact their local Natural Resource Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency or Extension professional.

Call or e-mail us today

If you have any questions please contact Doug Miller. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-377-3409. You may also visit us online at ilcrop.com.

May 4, 2017

Dealing with Cool and Wet Conditions

Parts of the mid-west have seen heavy rainfall and cool temperatures that may challenge corn and soybean plantings. According to Emerson Nafzinger at the University of Illinois "imbibitional chilling injury" can damage membranes resulting in abnormal seedling development and failure to emerge. While such damage is possible, the larger concern will likely be low oxygen levels in saturated soils. This along with concerns about disease, nitrogen and planting conditions will be something to keep an eye on. Nafzinger also says "Although not much corn has been planted since April 26, it will take at least 2 weeks for corn to emerge under current temperatures." Read more by visiting The Bulletin.

Summer in Puerto Rico

Our Puerto Rico Winter Farm is actually a year-round operation. The farm is finishing up harvesting and packaging seed to be returned to North American clients. Soon we will be receiving seed from South America and replanting continuous nurseries. We point out that Puerto Rico operates 365 days a year so you can take advantage of our continuous nursery services and isolated parent seed production capabilities. Soybean is the primary crop from May to November. We like to think of it as extreme Southern Illinois.

Contact Doug Miller, Hannah Hudson or Lizandro Perez for more information about our "winter" farm at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Annual Meeting Events June 28 & 29

The Illinois Crop and ISTA Joint Annual Meeting will kick off with the Illinois Seed Trade Golf Outing on Wednesday, June 28 at Stone Creek Golf Club. Meetings will be held Thursday, June 29th at the Tony Noel Ag Center on the Parkland Community College Campus starting with lunch at noon. The annual meeting registration fee is $50 per registrant. Registration does not guarantee or cover a hotel room, but there is a block of rooms being held at The Drury Inn & Suites Champaign under Group Number: 2305611. Rooms are being held until May 29th. Click here to reserve your hotel room.

If you have any questions or would like to register for the meeting, feel free to contact us or Heather Stone at 217-359-4053 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You may also click here for registration materials on our calendar of events page.

Field Inspection Applications

Field Inspections are just around the corner. We encourage you to use our electronic field inspection application form. A relatively simple spreadsheet can be submitted in lieu of traditional paper forms. Illinois Crop accepts submissions downloaded from your system or applications made with our template. The application templates are available on our Forms page. As always, field results are available on-line by clicking the login lab and field results link and selecting "field inspection" prior to entering your user ID and Password. Field inspection application dates and policies are also posted on our deadline page.

Shipping Seed? Need a Phytosanitary Field Inspection?

Illinois Crop is accredited under the National Seed Health System for phytosanitary field inspections. From breeding nurseries to production fields, Illinois Crop is authorized to inspect the following crops in Illinois and Puerto Rico; corn, soybean, sunflower, cotton, wheat, sorghum and now dry bean.

Apply for an NSHS Accredited field inspection.

Call or e-mail us today

If you have any questions please contact Doug Miller. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-377-3409. You may also visit us online at ilcrop.com.

April 4, 2017

Summer in Puerto Rico

Our Puerto Rico Winter Farm is actually a year round operation. The farm is still busy harvesting and packaging seed to be returned to North American clients. Soon we will be receiving seed from South America and replanting continuous nurseries. We point out that Puerto Rico operates 365 days a year so you can take advantage of our continuous nursery services and isolated parent seed production capabilities. Soybean is the primary crop from May to November. We like to think of it as extreme Southern Illinois. Contact Doug Miller, Hannah Hudson or Lizandro Perez for more information about our "winter" farm at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Annual Meeting Events June 28 & 29

The Illinois Crop and ISTA Joint Annual Meeting will kick off with the Illinois Seed Trade Golf Outing on Wednesday, June 28 at Stone Creek Golf Club. Meetings will be held Thursday, June 29th at the Tony Noel Ag Center on the Parkland Community College Campus starting with lunch at noon. The annual meeting registration fee is $50 per registrant. Registration does not guarantee or cover a hotel room, but there is a block of rooms being held at The Drury Inn & Suites Champaign under Group Number: 2305611. Rooms are being held until May 29th.

Click here for reservation information. If you have any questions or would like to register for the meeting, feel free to contact us or Heather Stone at 217-359-4053 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

April is Seed Month

April is Seed Month in Illinois. The importance of seed cannot be overstated or over communicated. So please share the importance of seed with everyone you know and check out the article on Planting Date for Corn and Soybean in Illinois from the University of Illinois. According to Emmerson Nafziger "Our long-held idea of planting corn first and then starting to plant soybean requires rethinking and possible adjustment".

Missouri Legislature Passes Regulations for Herbicide Use

The bill gives the MO Department of Agriculture more power to fine people who cause damage by violating pesticide labeling (off-label use). The bill includes fines of $10,000 for each instance and $25,000 for repeat offenders. The bill is aimed at the illegal spraying of herbicides in southeast Missouri in 2015 and 2016. Illinois Farmers and Operators should familiarize themselves with the IFCA's "Stewardship Do's and Don'ts" regarding Dicamba use and actively use the driftwatch program at https://il.driftwatch.org/.

Vigilance: Palmer Amaranth

The issue of off-label pesticide use and damage is another reason to remain vigilant in preventing the introduction and spread of Palmer Amaranth. Difficult to control weeds invite illegal off-label pesticide applications. Be sure to check your pollinator plots frequently and make efforts to have suspect seedlings and young plants identified and eradicated if positively identified as Palmer Amaranth. Read more about the issue in the most recent edition of the Illinois Seed News.

AOSA Rule for Palmer Amaranth?

It has also been suggested that the new DNA test for Palmer Amaranth in seed should be included in the AOSA Rules for testing seed. It is still Illinois Crop's opinion that the most effective way to prevent Palmer Amaranth movement in seed is field inspection and quality management along with testing. A post production rule may not motivate the entire industry to implement preventative measures. The uncertainty of improper cleaning, sampling and resampling should motivate all professional seed producers to embrace field inspections and related prevention measures. Contact your local AOSCA agency for more information about field inspections.

Field Inspection Applications

Field Inspections are just around the corner. We encourage you to use our electronic field inspection application form. A relatively simple spreadsheet can be submitted in lieu of traditional paper forms. Illinois Crop accepts submissions downloaded from your system or applications made with our template. The application templates are available on our Forms page. As always, field results are available on-line by clicking the login lab and field results link and selecting "field inspection" prior to entering your user ID and Password. Field inspection application dates and policies are also posted on our deadline page.

Shipping Seed? Need a Phytosanitary Field Inspection?

Illinois Crop is accredited under the National Seed Health System for phytosanitary field inspections. From breeding nurseries to production fields, Illinois Crop is authorized to inspect the following crops in Illinois and Puerto Rico; corn, soybean, sunflower, cotton, wheat, sorghum and now dry bean.

Apply for an NSHS Accredited field inspection.

Call or e-mail us today

If you have any questions please contact Doug Miller. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-377-3409. You may also visit us online at ilcrop.com.

March 2 2017

Recognized Canadian Pedigreed Grading Capability

Illinois Crop Improvement is proud to announce that as of January 27, 2017 it will be listed as an officially-recognized seed lab by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for grading purposes.

Congratulations to the Seed Lab (Recognized foreign laboratory number 3010) and RST Steve Beals for achieving the recognition and for continuing to expand the services we can offer our customers. Click here to view our authorization letter.

Contact Steve Beals directly for more information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Matt Raymond Achieves Registered Seed Technologist Status

Congratulations to Matt Raymond, Field Services Director, for completing the written and practical tests necessary to become a Registered Genetic Technologist through the Society of Commercial Seed Technologist. Matt was already a Certified Genetic Technologist and has now achieved the Registered status with the SCST.

Contact Matt Raymond directly for all of your genetic testing needs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Illinois Crop Improvement Winter Farm

The winter farm is wrapping up another successful season of growout, increase and nursery work for its Northern hemisphere clients. The farm is capable of continuous programs and can accelerate your genetic gain by adding more than two generations per year. The farm serves Southern hemisphere clients as well and serves as a resource for you no matter the time of year. See for yourself here or contact us to arrange a visit.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Field Inspections

Field inspections are just around the corner. There is still time to set up a meeting to tour our facility and learn the certification process from source of seed to tags and certificates.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by email or call 217-359-4053. Mark your calendars with the application deadlines found here.

Call or e-mail us today

If you have any questions please contact Doug Miller. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-377-3409. You may also visit us online at ilcrop.com.

February 7 2017

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.

Email us today to take advantage of another season before the 2017 growing season in the northern hemisphere! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.

Call or e-mail us today

If you have any questions please contact Doug Miller. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-377-3409. You may also visit us online at ilcrop.com.

January 9 2017

Revised Handbook of Seed Certification

The latest version of the Handbook for Seed Certification is available to members. If you are a member and need access to the handbook please email Heather Stone, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., to obtain the link. You may also request a copy on CD. Be sure to remove/replace all previous versions of the handbook as part of your document management responsibilities.

IL/IN Seed Conditioning Workshop

This year’s IL/IN Seed Conditioning Workshop will be held in Indianapolis February 7, 2017 on the front end of the Corn Belt Seed Conference. The workshop will feature nationally recognized experts addressing topics such as: Product Management and Stewardship in the Plant, Biological Seed Treatment, Trait Testing, Seed Treatment Equipment as well as Q & A opportunities. Visit the CBSC website for more information.

Walk the Pollinator Plot for Palmer

Numerous articles about Palmer amaranth have said it before but it is worth saying again; walk your pollinator plots to identify the dastardly weed known as Amaranthus palmeri – Palmer amaranth. Seed and seedling identification is no easy task. Tissue sampling and genetic testing is a valid and available option for early identification of suspect weed seedlings. While Palmer amaranth has been found in Illinois prior to the pollinator seed issue the seed industry has received the message loud and clear that Palmer amaranth in pollinator mixes is unacceptable. The Illinois Crop Improvement Association Seed Lab and Greenhouse have been separating and analyzing pigweed in cooperation with private and public entities. A DNA method for testing suspect weed seed is in development. A direct DNA test of weed seed found in a sample of seed for planting would greatly reduce or even eliminate the ambiguity of the current methodologies.

To learn more about identifying Palmer in your pollinator plot contact Matt Raymond at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Matt at 217-359-4053.

ASTA; Chile Phytosanitary Issues Successfully Resolved

Alexandria, VA (Nov. 30 Seed Today) — In March and August of this year an international delegation led by the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) met with the Chilean National Plant Protection Office (SAG) to discuss several proposed phytosanitary measures that could have negatively impacted seed trade with Chile for vegetable, corn and wheat seed. Since that time, ASTA has remained in touch with SAG and provided additional technical and scientific information as a follow up to those discussions. ASTA recently received good news that these issues, with one exception, have been successfully resolved. Read more about this and other industry bulletins on our website.

Call or e-mail us today

If you have any questions please contact Doug Miller. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-377-3409. You may also visit us online at ilcrop.com.

November 28 2016

ASTA Chicago CSS Conference and Seed Expo

Come visit Illinois Crop Improvement or schedule a meeting during the upcoming ASTA meetings in Chicago. Illinois Crop will have a meeting room in the Expo Hall (Room M4) next to its display booth #539 on the Expo Hall floor. If you would like to explore or discuss seed testing, grain quality, field inspection or winter farm services please contact Doug Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 217-359-4053.

Puerto Rico Planting Update

Due to rain and flooding on the farm, planting is behind schedule and some areas require replant. We have been in contact with the affected customers and hope the rains let up soon for planting. Rains also make it difficult to apply and effectively protect crops. While we are glad the drought is over, this year will have its own set of challenges.

Variation in Soybean Hilum Color

Environmental conditions can cause a lot of variation in the color of soybean hilums. Steve Beals, RST and Seed Lab Director says "what we would typically find in a black hilum sample is that the color can vary from shades of gray all the way to hilums that appear brown." The color on one end of the hilum will be black and the other end is brownish colored. Steve has even noticed some hilums that almost appear to be buff. "If you take a hand lens and look at the hilum on the seeds that are questionable, the color will not be even throughout the hilum and the hilum will appear to be another color or will not be consistent throughout" says Beals. For any hila that you are looking at, they should be a consistent and even color throughout the hilum to count against the sample as an off-type.

Illinois Crop Contributes

We recently received a thank you letter for our contribution to the Annual Meeting of the Puerto Rican Society of Agricultural Sciences (SOPCA Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Ciencias Agrícolas). SOPCA hosted 210 scientists and students at their 2016 annual meeting. A total of 36 oral presentations and 43 posters were presented on research related to agricultural sciences in Puerto Rico. Our annual contribution was used to provide economic support to those students. The letter was from Wilfred Robles, Ph.D., president of the SOPCA.

Call or e-mail us today

If you have any questions please contact Doug Miller. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-377-3409. You may also visit us online at ilcrop.com.

October 20 2016

Palmer Amaranth

It is a misnomer that Palmer Amaranth can be definitively identified by visual analysis of the seed. There are almost 50 species within the Amaranthus genus. Some of the weedy Amaranthus species have similar seed morphology requiring additional analysis when found in a seed sample during a traditional visual purity analysis.

For more information download our Seed ID – Palmer Amaranth flyer or click here to read about it on our website News page.

Weed Free Forage & Mulch

IL Crop Improvement is the approved certifying agency in Illinois for the North American Weed Free Forage Program administered by the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA). Weed free certification is based on in-field inspections for weeds performed within 10 days of cutting the field for baling. If you are interested in producing certified weed free forage or mulch in the future please contact IL Crop's This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Call or e-mail us today

If you have any questions please contact Doug Miller. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-377-3409. You may also visit us online at ilcrop.com.

August 26 2016

Xanthomonas Information

Information on Xanthomonas bacterial leaf streak of corn, or Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum (Xvv), is now being disseminated by national and local officials. Samples from seed corn fields submitted to the Plant Clinic by the Illinois Crop Improvement Association have shown no sign of the disease. Illinois Crop Improvement inspects fields for applicants under the National Seed Health System’s Field Inspection Accreditation Program. Inspectors are trained to fully inspect fields and submit samples from any unhealthy or abnormal plants. For more information on the disease visit the Bulletin and APHIS PPQ websites.

Update on Field Inspection Requirement for Chile

Not long after we shared the possible change in Chile's import requirements we received word from Ric Dunkle at ASTA and Chet Boruff at AOSCA that the changes should not take effect until the 2017/2018 crop/shipping seasons. Chet Boruff has been in touch with Guillermo Aparicio Munoz, Director of the Seed Certification Service in the Chile Department of Agriculture. Guillermo shared that "the Division of Agricultural and Forest Protection of our Service, in charge of establishing the import requirements, is studying the possibility of requiring a field inspection for HMV (high plains virus) as additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate. For now, nothing is resolved, and any change would apply for next season (2017/2018)."

Winter Farm Surveys

The end of the season in the Northern hemisphere is in sight. Please take a moment to complete the following survey(s) or contact us with your anticipated winter farm service needs as soon as possible. We understand that your answers to the survey are subject to change and that they are only an estimate of your needs based on information at that time. Please feel free to contact Lizandro Perez at our PR Location 787-260-0022 or Doug Miller and Hannah Hudson at our Illinois location 217-359-4053 to discuss winter farm activities.

Nursery Survey
(Corn, Sunflower, Other)

Generation Advance Survey
(Soybean, Drybean, Legumes, Other)

More About our Winter Farm Pricing

Illinois Crop Improvement's Winter Farm is committed to delivering the best quality possible. We have demonstrated this commitment with another successful season of corn, sorghum, soybean, sunflower, peanut, dry bean and spring grains work on the island. As a member driven not-for-profit organization we strive to improve for the benefit of our customers. I am proud of the leadership our team has shown and I invite you to see for yourself what we can deliver.

Over the last three years, significant improvements to our operations and procedures have resulted in exceptional quality in both data and seed. Those of you that have been sharing stories with us of insect damage at your locations have given us reason to be proud and we "tooted our own horn" so to speak and do so again here. Our plan now is to improve the volume of work we are doing. Our pricing is flexible and we will offer rates below published prices if your volume increases, you provide direct referrals, or you pool with others to create larger planting blocks. New Puerto Rico pricing effective June 15th is available on the Illinois Crop Improvement website. Our pricing reflects our commitment to quality as well as the volume of work we currently have.

Please feel free to contact Lizandro Perez at our PR Location 787-260-0022 or Doug Miller and Hannah Hudson at our Illinois location 217-359-4053 to discuss winter farm activities.

Call or e-mail us today

If you have any questions please contact Doug Miller. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-377-3409. You may also visit us online at ilcrop.com.

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