(Oct. 27, 3:57 p.m.) A coalition of seed producers, researchers and plant breeders are working on a plan to address challenges hindering research.

About 40 people attended the first American Seed Research Summit Sept. 25-26 in Chicago, and the event’s steering committee is expected to present a white paper during the American Seed Trade Association’s corn, sorghum and soybean research conference Dec. 9-12 in Chicago.

While that upcoming event is not related to fresh produce, association spokeswoman Gretchen Flanley said the summit and the White Paper “look at the full range of seed challenges.”

Flanley said the summit, which was sponsored by the American Seed Trade Association, the American Seed Research Foundation and the National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders, identified five goals to improve seed research:

  • strengthen public-private partnerships;


  • develop strong advocacy and funding;


  • develop “human technical capacity” for plant research;


  • develop regulatory systems that support innovation and efficiency; and


  • increase public awareness about the value of research.

Flanley said the white paper would elaborate on how those goals should be pursued. Each of the three sponsors is expected to endorse the paper before it is presented.

“It was surprising to see such broad agreement among the group as to the issues American seed research faces and the priorities we must address in the near future to ensure our global leadership in seed and plant biotechnology research,” American Seed Research Foundation president Rob Robinson said in a news release. “Now it is essential that we focus all of the resources necessary to execute on this plan.”

In other news, the American Seed Trade Association’s Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference is scheduled for Feb. 7-10 in Tampa, Fla.