1 August 1997

Farm-saved grain royalties unfair

SCOTTISH cereal growers are angry that farm saved seed from older varieties will be now be subject to royalty payments under the draft Plant Varieties Bill.

Scottish NFU cereals convener Douglas Morrison said the bill was being hurried through parliament and would be unfair to Scottish growers. "We have not been able to benefit from many of the new cereal varieties because they are unsuitable for our growing conditions.

"That is why we continue to use older ones and it would be completely unfair for us to have to pay royalties on varieties that can be freely saved elsewhere in Europe,"said Mr Morrison.

Allan Wright

"By making older varieties, which are not subject to EU rules on farm saved seed, liable for payments, the Bill puts at risk the mechanism agreed with plant breeders last year for the calculation of FSS royalty payments and their collection," said Mr Morrison.