7 July 1995

Royalty rate figures due soon

ROYALTY rates on combineable crops and potatoes, plus the varieties they will apply to, will be announced either today (Friday) or first thing next week.

"We need to let farmers know details so they can make decisions on what they will be saving and sowing for next year," commented British Society of Plant Breeders chairman, David Taylor at the Royal Show on Monday. The announcement depends upon voting in Brussels. If agreement is reached this week farmers will be sent the information on Friday. If not it will "go out anyway" to arrive early next week, said Mr Taylor. The rate is expected to be phased, rising to "above 60%" after three years.

&#8226 Small farmers will be exempt from paying royalty on farm-saved seed. Rules agreed recently in Brussels set the thresholds for cereal growers at 15.62ha (38.60 acres) in England, 16.23ha (40.10 acres) in Scotland non-LFA and 17.79ha (43.96 acres) in Wales non-LFA.

There will also be a seven-year grace period for any variety which a farmer saved before September 1994. &#42