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Covid-19 Update: MCIA Remains Operational

In response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association is taking precautions to protect the health of its staff and our community. Although we have fewer staff members than usual working at our St. Paul office, all of MCIA’s services will remain operational. We have assigned several of our staff members to work from home.

Access to our facility is limited. If you wish to visit the MCIA office, please call in advance, 612-625-7766. MCIA asks that deliveries be left in the building vestibule, where they will later be retrieved by MCIA staff. The entrance to the building will be kept locked. Also, if you wish to use the shipping and receiving dock, please call in advance to make arrangements with MCIA.

The role of MCIA and its dedicated employees is essential to agriculture in our region. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together during this difficult time!

Specific information about each of MCIA’s services follows:

Seed Laboratory. We will continue to process and test samples as efficiently as possible. We will continue to receive samples shipped via FedEx, UPS, Spee-Dee, and USPS or samples dropped off to the cart located in the front entrance of the building. While unforeseeable circumstances may hinder our day-to-day operations, we will strive, to the best of our ability, to provide the services you request.

CONTACT: Chase Mowry, Manager,

Foundation Seed. Orders and payments for Foundation seed are being processed as they are received. If you have not paid in full for your Foundation seed, please do so promptly. Making payment and returning signed license agreements will allow us to release seed for pick up in a timely manner.

Seed Pickup: Please contact your Foundation seed distributor 1 to 2 days before you plan to pick up your seed. This will provide you with confirmation that your seed is ready and allows the distributor time to prepare your order. If you are using a freight carrier to pick up seed, please let the distributor know this as well, along with your name and contact information, in case there are questions. Do not wait until planting season to try to pick up your seed.

CONTACT: Roger Wippler, Manager,

Seed Certification. We are processing certification tag and bulk certificate requests as soon as analysis results are reported. Turning around requests as quickly as possible remains our goal. If you have any concerns, or if your immediate needs are not being met, please contact Jody or Janet. We will work closely with you to solve any issues.

CONTACTS: Jody Prudhomme, Manager, and Janet Daninger, Certification Specialist,

Field Services. Field Services staff continue to work from our various home offices, as usual. As we perform on-site facility inspections and related tasks, we are observing CDC-recommended health precautions. We are preparing for the busy inspection season ahead. As always, we are available to answer your questions and meet your needs.

CONTACTS: Kris Folland, Manager, and Seth Dagoberg, Special Services Manager,

Organic Services. Organic Services remains in operation, with many of our staff members working from home. Your calls will be answered! However, there may be a delay while your call is transferred to a home office.

Crops and Livestock Operations: Applications are still due April 1 for most crop and livestock operations. Please try to get them in on time. We will process them and get the reviews done and files sent out to inspectors. We will have inspectors schedule inspections on a case-by-case basis. We will respect the wish of any organic operation to delay the inspection. Inspectors have been and continue to be instructed in good sanitation protocols. If you are sick or have been around anyone who is sick, we expect you to cancel the inspection. For our Amish clients: If you receive a note to schedule an inspection and you wish to cancel it, please contact the MCIA office or the inspector immediately.

Handlers and Processors: Please note that we will be here to review new labels and products, update certificates, and provide our normal services by phone and email.

CONTACT: Michelle Menken, Manager,

Ready for Spring?

Early spring conditions may create more demand for small grains. The seed lab is busy, so don’t delay in getting your seed tested. At best, it will take 7 days and we need test results before issuing final reports, bulk certificates, and tags. A few other items to keep in mind:

  • Update your germination. If you have carryover seed, be sure the label reflects a germination test date that is compliant with the seed law.
  • Be sure you received a passed seed certification report before any tags or bulk certificates are issued.
  • Always tag or issue bulk certificates for the seed you distribute.
  • Resolve any issues about eligibility of seed source before planting.

Tags Required for Seed in Tote Containers

MCIA now requires that seed being sold in tote containers must be labeled with a certification tag. Sellers can no longer use a bulk certificate when distrib­uting seed in tote containers.

Any seed class may be sold in tote containers using a certification tag as proof of certification. A tote typically weighs between 1,000 and 3,000 pounds. In cases where tote containers are unloaded into the buyer’s vehicle, the tags must be provided to the buyer.

Submitting Samples to the Seed Lab

To ensure that your samples arrive in good condition use a good quality leak-proof bag and quality packaging. For fragile seeds (like soybeans) use a sturdy box and use packing material to keep them from getting bounced around during shipping. You may want to write Fragile on the package.

Foundation Seed and New Variety Information

MN-Torgy Wheat: Invoices will be mailed soon to those who received an al­location of this new variety. Please make full payment immediately.

Seed Available: We are still accepting orders for Foundation seed of barley, oats, soybeans, and wheat. Please include full payment when ordering.

Seed Pickup: Full payment is due before you can pick up your Foundation seed order. Remember to contact your seed distributor ahead of time to make arrangements to pick up seed. Call MCIA for additional information or if you have questions.

Seed Lab Tips

Reminder: To assure timely test results, please remember to include an untreated sample along with your treated corn and soybean seed samples.

FYI: Days Required for Germ Tests

Barley* (no prechill): 7 days
Corn: 7 days
Kentucky bluegrass (no prechill): 21 days
Oats* (no prechill): 10 days
Rye* (no prechill): 7 days
Ryegrass (no prechill): 14 days
Soybeans: 7 days
Wheat* (no prechill): 7 days

*Can be completed at first count if they have reached their max potential.

Now Accepting Foundation Seed Orders

We are currently accepting orders for Foundation Seed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Demand for oat seed is strong and supplies are limited so be sure to order soon. Seed supplies are good for recent release MN-Washburn wheat and other varieties as well. If you are interested in a variety not on our price list, give us a call and we will try to locate it from another state. Payment should be sent with any orders.

New Foundation Seed Varieties in 2020: MN-Torgy Spring Wheat

MN-Torgy (MN14105-7) is hard red spring wheat that combines yield and protein. A medium maturity variety, it has shown strong yield performance in state and regional trials. MN-Torgy has moderate overall disease resistance, with a very good rating for bacterial leaf streak (BLS) and a good fusarium head blight (FHB) rating. It has a good rating for pre-harvest sprouting, above average protein, and good test weight. Seed of the new MN-Torgy wheat variety will be distributed by MCIA through your local County Seed Distribution Committee. Additional information has been mailed to eligible members.