News Releases

Facebook   Twitter
Soil Science Society of America
5585 Guilford Road • Madison, WI 53711-5801 • 608-273-8080 • Fax 608-273-2021
Twitter | Facebook | RSS News Release Feed

Contact: Susan V. Fisk, Public Relations Director, 608-273-8091,

Progress with tropical maize yields highlighted for lectureship

Scientific partnerships with practitioners key to success

Media Invitation
Contact: Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, Please RSVP by October 10, 2017.

Aug. 24, 2017— Maize is one of the three most important crops in the world.  CIMMYT (International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement) and its international research partners have developed hybrids that will expand production even further.

The lectureship, entitled “Partitioning and Passion, Pothole and Partnerships: A Journey with Tropical Maize,” will address this topic at the Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Tampa, FL. The lecture will be held Monday, October 23, 2017, at 8:40 AM. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

Today, 368 drought tolerant hybrids producing 65,000 tons of certified maize seed per year are deployed in sub-Saharan Africa. Key factors leading to the success of this program are the vision of founding CIMMYT staff; continuity of support by program leaders and donors for over 40 years; an array of talented young scientists who believed passionately they could make a difference; and excellent partnerships with national research programs and seed companies who are increasingly leading initiatives in product development and adoption. Additional lessons learned and implications for temperate maize will be discussed during the presentation.

Presenters are Gregory O. Edmeades, New Zealand; Marianne Banziger, CIMMYT, Mexico; Kenneth Fischer, CGIAR, Australia; and, Tsedeke Abate, CIMMYT, Kenya. The lecture is part of the Betty Klepper Endowed Lectureship.

“CIMMYT is the global leader in developing tropical maize germplasm,” says Mark Westgate, Iowa State University. “Dr. Edmeades and his colleagues at CIMMYT have been at the forefront of discovering drought tolerant traits and applying that knowledge to advance maize hybrids for dry-land production. Their successes are having a dramatic impact on the transition from OPV to hybrid maize in sub-Saharan Africa.”  Westgate is the incoming-president of the Crop Science Society of America.

For more information about the 2017 meeting, visit Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 10, 2017 is required. Visit for registration information. For information about the “Partitioning and Passion, Pothole and Partnerships: A Journey with Tropical Maize” lecture, visit

To speak with one of the scientists, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, to arrange an interview. 

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, DC, office. Founded in 1936, SSSA proudly celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2011. For more information, visit or follow @SSSA_soils on Twitter.