New at Ag Alumni Seed
Periodically we’ll be posting updates here on what’s happening at Ag Alumni Seed. Watch this space!
Hi from Romney, Indiana!
It’s been one of those winters. In the low 60’s one day, a skiff of snow the next. We were thinking about planting oats, then the forecast changed to 18oF and a 3” of snow for the weekend. Maybe next week…
Although we can’t do much outdoors during the winter in Indiana, we’ve been pretty busy.
First off, we finished popping samples from our 2016 trials and pulled together our updated data. If you are a current customer, you should have received that in the mail. If not, you can find it on this site here.
In addition to your favorites we have good quantities available on several newer hybrids:
- AP2505 – Early, very high yielding and mid-level expansion.
- AP4511 – A mid-season, very high yielding hybrid with large kernel and good expansion. A great all-purpose hybrid.
- AP6005 – A full season large kernel hybrid with high yields and mid-level expansion.
- AP4512 – A midseason hybrid with high expansion and tender, delicious flakes.
- AP6010M – A full season, very high yielding mushroom with a high percentage of ball type flakes.
We also have testing quantities of two brand new hybrids for you to look at:
- AP2507 – An early hybrid with very good plant health, expansion similar to AP2504 and improved yields.
- AP4001 – An early/mid-season hybrid with high yield, good plant health and strong stalk qualities.
We’ve been busy in our winter nursery. After several disappointing years in Puerto Rico, we shifted our winter work to our facility in Argentina. Pablo Vergani, our assistant breeder there, is working with Fernando Cardenas, our popcorn breeder, to harvest increases and new crosses as I write this, and the results look very good.
While Research has been busy with popping, winter nursery work and putting up seed for our Romney nursery and US trials, we’ve been busy in Production and Operations as well. We have seed on the way north from Argentina to meet US grower needs, and we are working on several plant improvements in Romney.
The original Ag seedhouse, a converted barn, has been showing its age for some time. In the past couple of years the foundation has begun cracking, and we’ve been faced with a “repair or replace” decision. While we hate to see part of our past go away, it’s time to replace the seed house with a building that has better functionality, so this spring we are tearing the old building down to replace it with a modern, temperature and humidity controlled metal structure that will give us additional seed storage.
We are also updating the air handling system in our tower. Our old cyclone based system no longer meets air quality standards, so we’ve started retrofitting a new system that will improve air quality and give our team a much better working environment.
As you may know, Ag Alumni Seed is a not for profit affiliate of Purdue University. As part of our mission we’ve always supported Purdue College of Agriculture research programs with unrestricted cash grants as well as helping to commercialize new genetics.
Times have changed, and the way universities commercialize research has also changed, with increased emphasis on founding startup companies. Ag has been pleased to be part of that effort at Purdue, and has been participating in Purdue’s AgCelerator program where Purdue Ventures has created a program to provide initial funding to Ag startups.
The first go-round was held in December, and we are pleased to be able to announce that we contributed $25,000 out of total Purdue funding of $100,000 to Phicrobe, a Purdue startup led by Dr. Bruce Applegate of the Food Science department. Dr. Applegate developed a fast and accurate test for the presence of E-coli O157:H7 on food. This is the highly pathogenic strain that causes over 2,000 hospitalizations and multiple deaths annually in the US. Current tests take several days to complete, resulting in fruits and vegetables being sold to consumers before test results are available. Phicrobe’s test is much quicker, which will hopefully generate results before food in sold.
Click here for more information and complete data on these hybrids and our entire lineup.