14 May 1999

Saved seed royalty rate could fall

CERTIFIED seed royalty rates are generally up again, but farm saved seed rates could fall depending on the outcome of negotiations between the NFU and British Society of Plant Breeders.

Most royalties set by the breeders have seen a modest rise. Despite falling farm incomes some varieties have exceeded the rate of inflation. Among the biggest risers are Malacca and Equinox, rising 4 and 8%, respectively (see table).

FSS royalties are set on a presumed seed rate of 190kg/ha (1.5cwt/acre). "We feel that is a bit high, and the BSPB have agreed now is the time to look at that," says Fiona Calvin, seeds adviser for the NFU.

Farm saved royalties last autumn equated to £4.76/ha (£1.93/acre) or £25.03/t for wheat. A calculation based on a lower seed rate would reduce the charge to growers.

But that could well be offset by an increase in the percentage of royalty levied on farm saved seed users due to a reported increase in the area sown with FSS last autumn.

A final announcement on the FSS royalty rate is expected in June.

C2 certified seed royalty rate

Variety 1999 % Change Breeder

Abbot 50 -2 PBIC

Brigadier 50.50 nc Advanta

Claire 50 2 Nickerson

Consort 52 2 PBIC

Equinox 53 4 CPB Twyford

Hereward 43 2 PBIC

Malacca 55 8 CPB Twyford

Rialto 52 2 PBIC

Savannah 55 n.c Advanta

C2 certified seed

royalty rate (£/t)

Variety 1999 % Breeder

change

Abbot 50 -2 PBIC

Brigadier 50.50 nc Advanta

Claire 50 2 Nickerson

Consort 52 2 PBIC

Equinox 53 4 CPB Twyford

Hereward 43 2 PBIC

Malacca 55 8 CPB Twyford

Rialto 52 2 PBIC

Savannah 55 n.c Advanta