Illinois Crop Improvement Association Provides Update About Hurricane Maria Recovery Effort

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Illinois Crop Improvement Association CEO Doug Miller provided the following update Thursday about the recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The group operates a research farm on the island.

“First, all of our employees on the farm are safe and there were no injuries related to the storm. Now Puerto Rico needs our help as it begins the long road to recovery from Hurricane Maria. For over 30 years Champaign-Urbana, the Midwest, and the seed industry as a whole have been linked to the island of Puerto Rico.

In 1986 seed corn growouts were planted as purity tests by Illinois Crop Improvement for seed producers. Plant breeders soon followed bringing with them other crops such as soybean, drybean, sunflower, peanut, sorghum and more. The essence of Puerto Rico is more generations per year, performing quality control for seed producers and doubling or even tripling genetic gain for plant breeders.

Regardless of where you are in the row crop agriculture industry, the seed you sell or the seed you plant has probably made its way to and from Puerto Rico as part of its development and improvement.

The Red Cross has been selected as the preferred method of donating to the people of Puerto Rico. The people of Puerto Rico need our help. They have a long road to recovery and in my honest opinion the seed industry and agriculture in general can call Puerto Rico home. Help our home recover.”

Farm Status

“We have been communicating with customers directly but wanted to share the following with everyone. It is our honest and fact based opinion that we will have a normal season and can begin planting. The corn growout submission deadline will remain unchanged at October 27 and we believe we can achieve two generations per year for our soybean and drybean customers. This decision is based on the following facts.

The farm sustained very little damage
All damage to the farm has been repaired
Suppliers can meet our needs
Shipping to the island has successfully resumed
Key personnel had limited damage to their homes
Infrastructure is returning

Customers should ship their seed as they have done in the past, directly to Puerto Rico or through our office in Champaign, IL. Be sure to review the shipping requirements. To ensure good communications please be sure to follow our current procedure of copying Hannah Hudson on all emails. This includes shipping information, project instructions and requests for more information or data. We will keep you up to date on hotel, rental car, and travel recommendations as the recovery progresses.”

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