100th edition

Edição XVIII | 01 - Jan . 2014

Silmar Teichert Peske - silmar@seednews.inf.br

    It seems like yesterday we started our SEED News magazine and we are celebrating its 100th edition. We had a clear idea what we wanted to offer for the players in the seed business, but we had no Idea how it would work, considering that we were from a different area that of journalism and publicity that have more technological knowledge to create a magazine. However, the objective of the magazine was clear and remains so today. The idea was to transform relevant scientific knowledge into technical articles, so, even a reader without greater academic preparation would take advantage of it. We have at the university a strong seed program and many Masters and PhD theses and dissertations are defended every year and the information from this kind of documents, however, were not coming to the agents of the seed sector. We realized that creating and organizing a magazine would help the seed sector.

    After all, there were plenty of issues to be addressed; we choose the most suitable issues and they were edited in an appropriate way for readers to have interested  and pleasure for reading it. It was the hardest part: work for many nights and collaboration of many colleagues and friends were required to move as expected, I mean, to circulate the magazine  every two months without delays.

    As a professor, I have used slides to illustrate the classes, because a picture saves a lot of words, and this tool was also used to illustrate issues in the magazine. However, slides had to be scanned and cleaned, which required some special equipment and knowledge, which fortunately were obtained with some effort. Currently, with the digital cameras, it is no longer necessary.

    It is worth mentioning some important aspects of the magazine production process. In 1997 there was no printing plant prepared for printing the magazine in the city, which required making this type of work in a faraway city. Some of the disadvantages included logistics problems, because there are always last minute adjustments, which was impractical over long distances, especially at that time (currently, it would be a relatively easy task). Fortunately, a printing plant located at the same town of SEED News saw an opportunity for this kind of business, and the partnership continues until today.

    Some situations

    In the magazine production process we have asked the point of view of some colleagues from the seed sector and possible collaborators. After the presentation of the magazine, one of my friends wanted to know what does a professional magazine means. I explained him that it was a magazine created as a small company, which depended on resources for printing, distribution and payment of staff and in the case of SEED News magazine would be published every two months, always on the first day of the month, except when the day fell on a Sunday or holiday. It is still done so, with respect to our subscribers and advertisers.

    Another colleague scheduled an interview with the marketing manager of a large company in the seed sector. After thumbing through the first pages of the magazine, the colleague suggested advertisements in the magazine, and, as time was passing, more pressure was done in such a way that the marketing manager agreed to announce his company in the magazine, booking the back cover of the magazine for many years. The same marketing manager has become a great supporter of the magazine and he has offered useful suggestions such as, to keep up with a specific magazine, always evolving, to keep up to date, and diversify our advertising and keeping trade relations well-documented, among others.

    Recently, we received an email from the same friend and he congratulated us on the development of the magazine and at the same time he asked to receive a copy of the 100th issue. Can you imagine the satisfaction of sending this magazine to the friend who accompanied us during all this time and even has the complete collection of SEED News magazine?

    The first editions of the magazine were printed using photolithography; at this time, we received a notice from the Brazilian Inland Revenue that there was an order to us. We were informed that the photolithography was shipped from Argentina, and we had to pay US$5.00 tax. Regarding the money was little; the problem was to go to the city of Porto Alegre (250 km of SEED News headquarters) and we did not have the time for it. The alternative was to try to resolve the impasse by phone and after half an hour of conversation, the solution still seemed a little distant. Realizing the imminent failure; we said to the Revenue staff that the problem was not money, because the telephone call would cost us more than US$ 20.00 and in this case, we were already spending more money than the required tax. We spent a few more minutes on the phone and we carried on increasingly vehement arguments, and then an unexpected thing happened when the employer from Revenue asked us what address the photolithography should be sent at no charge. It was an unforgettable lesson, showing that perseverance and compelling arguments are strategies for overcoming adversity.

    Dr. James Delouche has written 70 articles uninterrupted until 2009; when he decided to stop writing and sent us an article untitled “There is a time for everything “. He always closely followed the magazine articles and once he observed that we had split his article in two. We had to explain that his essay was so important that we decided to divide his writings into two editions for security reasons. After this episode, Delouche sent an additional article to prevent any problem. It is appropriate to clarify that our faithful collaborator has never been late with his column.

    Many other situations, that were important in the history of the magazine, could be reported here, all very important to bring SEED News magazine up to here.

    The strengths of the magazine

    We do consider that the strength of the magazine is its specificity. Everybody who receives it knows that he will find topics on seeds such as the use of high quality seeds of improved varieties, detailing production techniques and post-harvest processes, quality evaluation, promoting biotechnology and seed treatment, among others. It is important to note that most issues remain updated and are kept for a long period of time. 

    Issues published in the SEED News are requested specifically to collaborators and with our 100 edition they added up 475 Brazilians and 71 foreigners. Typically, the texts are written by one author, though some collaborators have published several articles during this period.

    The magazine does not work with annual agenda in order to keep updated issues. Thereby, issues are requested with no more than one month in advance and all authors, with rare exceptions, write their issues within the period of 30 days. It is another great strength!

    The collaborators are originated mainly by contacts during seed events like the Brazilian Seed Congress (CBS), the Pan American Seed Seminar (FELAS), The Congress of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA), The Congress of the International Seed Federation (ISF) and the Seed Congress of the Americas (SAA). Each of these events focus on specific subjects, such as CBS organized by ABRATES, which is scientific-technical and several topics discussed at the event have been the focus on of the magazine. The FELAS congress has been focused on public policy; the ISTA congress on the evaluation of seed test quality, the ISF congress on seed business, as well as the SAA, which is regional. Undeniably, these kinds of events always provide a lot of knowledge andinformation for the magazine. 

    In addition to these events, the SEED News also marks its presence in the events such as the CSM in RS and CSM in PR and field days promoted by seed companies, occasions that takes advantage of the opportunity to promote the use of seeds. Another strong point of the magazine is focused on those who uses, produces, sells, evaluates and develops cultivars. The search for new readers  of the magazine is done by many ways, however the main one is done by ex students of the professors and collaborators of SEED News. 


    The magazine is divided into sections and articles to better serve its readers. Therefore, we have reviewed all issues until the last edition and we have found that aspects of seed production have been the most discussed theme; we have published 188 articles, followed by seed quality, with 135 articles, and post -harvest technology, with 77. It has been more than nine articles per edition providing knowledge and information for our readers.

    Aspects such as seeding, seed formation and maturation, harvest, weed control, nutrition, irrigation, field inspection and performance of cultivars were the main subjects on seed production, while germination, vigor, purity, dormancy and seed health were the main factors discussed on the theme of the seed quality. In relation to post -harvest technologies, the main discussed points were: drying, cleaning and sorting, transport, aeration and storage of seeds – they have had a big technological development during the period, with the introduction of seeds artificially cooled by a dynamic process.

    The other subjects that were highlighted are:

1. biotechnology, has been a subject of heated discussions, however, this story has a happy ending for the country;

2. legal platform with different approaches on the seed laws, plant protection, biosafety and patents;

3. creating cultivars with approaches aimed at value for cultivation and use, royalties collection and piracy;

4. seed usage , with field research to determine the rate of seed usage by farmers; and

5. seed treatment, showing great progress during the period between the artisanal treatment, performed at the farm level and industrial treatment, carried out on processing units, with dosage control and safety for operators and the environment.

    Many of the different editions of the magazine talked about specific species in commercial crops and soybeans received the most attention, with 137 articles- It is due to the importance of the crop for the country, it is a crop with more acreage, more than 27 million hectares planted in the 2012/13 agricultural season. Soybean seeds are not easy to produce and to maintain their quality, which is why many papers have been published. Another aspect was the great changes occurred after adoption of early varieties, to allow winter maize cultivation in the same field of soybeans. This change has caused some companies in soybean breeding to increase their participation in the seed business, while others decreased, i.e. in the order of two digits. The soybean seed business in the country involves more than one billion dollar.

    Crops such as rice, corn, fodder, vegetables, wheat, cotton and sorghum were also discussed in the magazine. The choice of species takes into account their economic and social importance. Potato was the only important species for human consumption, which received little attention from the magazine, due to our readers profile.

    The evolution of the magazine

    There is a consensus on the need to follow trends, customs and values, and for a company they are important to keep the business growing. The first editions of the SEED News were published only in Portuguese; however, in 2000, we realized that was necessary to also offer it in Spanish language version. Four years later, in 2004, the magazine edition in English was also offered. Currently, the magazine is published in Spanish in Bolivia and distributed to Spanish-speaking countries, while the English version is available on the online store of the magazine.

    Other contributing factors to the development of the magazine included the creation of a website (www.seednews.inf.br), in 2004, providing an online version of the magazine. It contains the central issue, enquiries and green line. It was a great initiative where there are hundreds daily visitors on our website. In addition, subscription are also possible using the site.

    In 2012, we followed the online shopping trends creating a virtual store (store.seednews.inf.br), where the readers can order a new subscription or renew their subscription. It does not need a bank payment slip every time clients want to subscribe or renew the subscription. The store also offers back issues of the magazine, offers books (paid and free) and allows other types of payment.

    From Zero to One Hundred

    We are not “talking” about speed that in many situations is important, but we would like to say that 17 years have passed since SEED News was edited for the first time. The magazine is like a son to his owner, and it grew up speaking, even in other languages, such as English and Spanish. The magazine goes by its own and by its form,  reaching all continents.

    Over the years, writers from many countries have contributed to the magazine. In addition, researchers and professionals in the seed sector and from the century-old school of Agronomy “Eliseu Maciel” of the UFPel have also gave its owner support and opportunities. 

    I would like to talk about what happened in this period of time: we were dependent on few cultivars produced by public enterprises, but farming system has changed in the past years and the private sector became the protagonist of new productive opportunities with a large supply of seeds more productive cultivars and quality assured, that the farmer has purchased and used.

    The media and the SEED News magazine helped spread information about the importance of quality seed in agriculture and all past issues of the magazine have always informed the seed consumers that productive areas will achieve nothing without seeds of high quality. 

    I will take the zero edition as an example, which was talking about “Plant Breeders Rights” (because without them, companies would not invest in research programs for obtaining new varieties), with its cover showing a sunset image, under a rice seed production area. Without self promotion, this illustration marked this communication vehicle, since from the beginning showed the reason of its life. The magazine encouraged the use of high quality seed, and the development of research, new production techniques, becoming a guide for producer and for entrepreneurs in the seed sector. In using simple and accessible language the magazine took science to all corners of the world.

    To make a synthesis of one hundred editions of the magazine requires great sensitivity, but it is possible to cite some facts. In 1998, people were already talking about: “the soybean growing area is increasing,” and a super harvest was expected in the same year. The agricultural machines were constantly adapted to new realities and market demands, and transgenic cultivars began to increase usage in various regions. Transgenic cultivar has also consolidated itself “we are in a new era”, although people were scared of genetically modified organisms, especially those who did not have the technology. All people have their own opinion of GMO, against or not, although some people did not even know what they were talking about. Lay people or not, they were always protesting, and still do. Concomitant with the consolidation of the magazine, the seed trade became increasingly important part of the production, and seed became one of the important crop production input.

    There is no doubt that everything mentioned before and all themes and issues discussed during all editions of SEED News’ magazine contributed decisively to the achievement of “seed business” which was consolidated as a whole, showing the importance of seed quality in agriculture.

    The seed that produced 100 times
    In 1997, SEED News began to seed ideas, information and knowledge. We had the pleasure of seeing this project starting and we are very happy to celebrate the 100th edition of the international seed magazine.
    If there are a number able to symbolize the importance of seeds in the production process, without doubt is the number 100. Just like there are one hundred years in a century, all human activity that reach one hundred represent wholeness, quality, relevance, wealth, multiplication grandeur and excellence. A man who is 100 year old becomes a venerable person. However, a magazine that reaches 100 editions consolidates itself. It is not by chance, there is the famous parable of the sower; good seed bear fruit “an hundredfold”.
    The SEED News magazine was born in 1997 with the intention of bringing science to the field, and also to bring together researcher and farmer, scientific knowledge and technologies from laboratories to field. Until now, it remains the only magazine dedicated exclusively to seed theme. In 17 years of history, the magazine has been used as a reference among public sector, agribusiness, companies, universities and research centers. When the subject is about seed, people turn to the SEED News pages and there are accurate, current and relevant information. Members from the media communication professionals comment that, the magazine is “score A” - one thing we can always rely on.
    In all courses from agriculture schools there is the course devoted to the study of seed. Some have been more devoted than others, as the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel) has been devoting much more attention to this important issue. One of its professor Dr. Silmar Peske, saw the need for providing much more information about seed and agribusiness, covering scientific research, technical advances, efficient practices and changes in national and international seed legislation. The agribusiness community believes in the SEED News magazine, and considers the information provided by the magazine useful for most situations. The state of global economy is not always calm and the magazine has a good compass based on scientific work. It is a technical magazine, free of any political characteristics, classism or any other ideology. Its reliability is one of the reasons to explain  its 100 editions.
    In the  pages of  SEED News, we find news from centers of national and foreign research and views and opinion of experts on agribusiness; legislation issues on the national and international market, information about seed health in Brazil and other countries, analyzes that increasing crop yields, quality and food supply. All these kind of information are important and useful for technicians, researchers, legislators, executives and rural entrepreneurs.
I can say that Silmar Peske is a sower of ideas and personally, I saw this man’s dedication, his commitment, his willingness to fight from the beginning. Above all, the work done by SEED News magazine is good thing for humanity. Producing seeds is to produce food and to produce food maintains life. 
    Congratulations, SEED News, by seeding knowledge and life and today more than ever, I hope SEED News can give us many more fruits.

    SEED News 100th edition 
    The SEED News and Hadler & Hasse have an extremely fruitful relationship, which shares many commonalities. Both businesses were created by founders engaged in seed sector, and they have seed business as the main focus. There was the need for “something more”, the commitment to quality and reliability of its products, in addition to longevity of seed production in Brazil.
Since the first edition of the magazine, we finally realized that the magazine would be compared to a seed that germinates and becomes a seedling and certainty continues to produce good fruits. Silmar Peske is the creator of the magazine and his ideas were reflected through his magazine arrticles.
    The magazine was a reality wished by the seed sector for a long time, it was also something new, which would meet the need of a publication that was not only scientific issues, and that was not restricted to certain group of people, but with much practice and technical information, without losing the academic character, and its credibility. 
    Fortunately, a beginning look at the issue, include the name and affiliation of its author is enough for readers do not have doubts that their questions will be answered. This fact is, in our opinion, one of the great attributes of SEED News magazine. Then I remember that a few years ago, a client asked about the presence of “green” seeds in a seed lot. All quality parameters were perfect, but still there was doubt and subsequent inquiry. In order to deliver a successful answer to this question we had two editions of SEED News, which specifically addressed the issue, and the client doubt was successfully clarified. Furthermore, I consider the sections of green line and enquiries exceptional sections of the magazine. The first one has a wide and strong connection to seed business and the second one, which I look forward to reading, and there are significant and trivial questions related to field crops production. However, there are other sections also interesting.
    Considering all these aspects, we ran advertisements for our business in the SEED News for over a decade and we formed a partnership with the magazine, based on a mutual commitment to provide quality, cutting-edge materials to the customers. We want to congratulate the Seed News magazine on its 100th edition, we are sure that the other hundred will come!

    Number 100
    A project that began as a dream, but dreams can become reality when people work toward their own objective. Silmar has been working with his dream project since the beginning and he has offered the seed sector with a specialized magazine in seed technology, aiming to provide updated information to seed producers and farmers in Brazil and throughout Latin America , and thanks to his tenacity and perseverance, today he presents us, nothing less than the SEED News magazine number 100.
    Surely, the expectation was high when the first number was printed, first it was in Portuguese, after in Spanish and after that in English. The magazine is very well accepted. Today, thanks to SEED News, thousands of people from the seed sector in Brazil and Latin America have a magazine with technological information, business, and others events related to seeds. The topics and the information contained in the 100 editions of the magazine are a real specialized library in seed business; people who have all 100 issues can afford to have at hand a lot of information that gives us a good support in the various activities of the seed sector.
    To reach 100 editions of the magazine is not an easy task; it needs vision and ability to keep the magazine always at the top. Best wishes to Silmar and his wife Marilanda, to his staff and all that somehow who helped the magazine to become a reality and endures over time.
    The magazine provides information that is an extension of the life mission of its founder: to enable the seed sector. Therefore, the magazine has reached 100 edtitions, it was one of those things  that I never doubted. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to have every two months an update,  on this exciting mission that is the seed and its derivations. Go ahead, the seed sector needs it!

    "We feel great professional and personal satisfaction to announce the publication of the 100th edition of the SEED News magazine. The magazine was created to provide knowledge and information about obtaining and using high quality seed. Some collaborators and readers helped us a lot with their articles or suggestions and they were always very welcome to improve our magazine. We hope we are on the right path."

    Thanks to Pablo Cadore, Eduardo Venske and Ricardo Cunha, by their work in the editions of this paper.



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