1983The cover of our July 1983 issue showed a scene from the Mont La Salle Vineyards in Napa, Calif. The Pacific Seedsmen’s Association held their annual convention in the region that year. This issue included a sidebar looking at exciting new corn research — an attempt to create a variety resistant to the European corn borer while the plants were flowering. Prior to that time, breeding of corn designed to hold the pest in check was focused on resistance during the whorl stage. The new resistant germplasm was made available to breeders in 1983 through the Missouri Foundation Seed Project. Researchers in Missouri said progress demonstrated in developing resistance to second-generation borers could encourage further breeding efforts in the realm of corn borer resistance.


100 years is the length of time the American Seed Trade Association had been around as of July 1983. It celebrated its centennial with a birthday party in San Francisco, Calif. that summer.

60 is the age of the Canadian Seed Trade Association as of the summer of 1983. CSTA marked its birthday with a celebration in Calgary, Alta.

50% is the proportion of commercial breeding lines predicted to be produced in the future by biotechnology.

600,000 is the number of plants catalogued in the new Germplasm Resources Information Network, a revolutionary new database designed to keep track of the nation’s plant resources.

300,000 hectares is the planned increase in Morocco’s irrigated land, according to the country’s Five-Year Plan published in 1983.


1922: Honeybee Act prohibits the importation of adult honeybees
1952: Male-sterile plants of Day sorghum discovered
1971: Discovery of first fertility restorer for sunflower; lines RHA265 and RHA 266; used as male parents to create first hybrid sunflowers planted by farmers in the U.S.
1991: Discovery of first-ever homeobox—region of a gene that enables it to control other genes—in plants
2006: A newly released pear variety—Sunrise—fills the need for an early-season pear with excellent fruit quality and appearance, and with resistance to the devastating disease known as fire blight