14 September 2001

No farm-saved seed rules change

THE British Society of Plant Breeders has apologised for wrongly suggesting that farmers who breach farm-saved seed legislation will put their area payments at risk.

Following discussions with the farm unions, National Association of Agricultural Contractors and DEFRA the BSPB has clarified there have been no changes to the rules on farm-saved seed this year.

The society has also confirmed that if a farmer has more than one holding on their IACS application, FSS can be legitimately moved between the separate productions units.

In a letter to farmers weekly the organisation said confusion had arisen because of differences in definitions used in the Plant Varieties Act and EU legislation implementing the IACS system. &#42

It added that it was anxious to seek clarification about these issues with DEFRA for next year.

"We regret that the original circular was issued before these complex legal issues were clarified," said the letter.

David Houghton, chairman of NFU Scotlands combinable crops committee, said the union felt the issue had now been resolved.

"Following government advice BSPB has now confirmed this information was incorrect," he said.