DES MOINES ñ Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently highlighted recent action by the National Conference on Weights and Measures that will standardize testing methods and procedures for seed count labeling. The new procedures, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2011, will benefit both farmers and seed companies by creating uniform procedures for testing corn, soybean, field bean and wheat seed by weight, volume, measure and count. "The mission of the Department's Weights and Measures Bureau is to make sure there is a level playing field for both buyers and sellers and this agreement helps do that," Northey said. "Farmers and seed companies will both benefit from this change that will allow seeds to be sold by count, rather than weight." In an effort to bring farmers, regulators, and industry together, Northey and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship hosted a seed summit on this issue in 2009. The meeting included officials from the American Seed Trade Association, Association of American Seed Control Officials, Association of Official Seed Analysts, Independent Professional Seed Association, Iowa Attorney General, Iowa Seed Association, Iowa State University, Monsanto, Nebraska Division of Weights and Measures, Pioneer, Syngenta, and USDA. "Having all parties at the same table to discuss the many small details of the current regulatory arena provided a springboard that clarified where we needed to go in the near future," Northey said. "I am very pleased that the group could work together and find a win-win solution for everyone involved." More information can also be found on the American Seed Trade Association's website at www.amseed.org.