Representatives of Mexican maize seed companies attended a training course on certified maize seed production in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico, from 17-20 August 2015.
Based on seed companies’ training requests in 2015, the MasAgro Seed Systems Unit decided to provide training in certified seed production. The training agenda included the following subjects: maize hybrid development, production planning, production and contract areas, maintenance of parental lines, isolation, sowing for production, roguing, detasseling, pollen control, harvesting, drying and seed health. These subjects were addressed by CIMMYT experts and experienced national seed producers.
Experts from Mexico’s National Seed Inspection and Certification Service (SNICS) explained the certification process and rules, as well as its cost, and then gave practical examples of how to classify the genetic quality of maize in seed production plots.
A certification inspection exercise was conducted in one of Monsanto’s seed production plots. Monsanto representatives gave detailed explanations of the agronomic management of their production plots and the technical and scientific support provided for precision agriculture. Later, SNICS trainers gave step-by-step instructions on how to conduct inspections of seed production plots for certification purposes.
For this exercise, teams of participants toured the 6-hectare plot and were given a manual (especially developed for the exercise) on developing maize varieties and characterizing male and female plants; they also learned the criteria used for sampling and selecting the variables to be assessed. The teams shared their results and standardized plot inspection and evaluation criteria.
According to the participants, the course exceeded their expectations, and they vowed to immediately start applying their new knowledge to improve their seed production and quality control processes.