Growers face seed royalty hike

By FWi staff

FARMERS saving their own seed face higher royalty payments next season.

The increases reflect the continued trend towards home-saving and the consequent decline in sales of certified seed, says Tony Guthrie, chairman of the British Society of Plant Breeders.

“Inevitably, plant breeders are also feeling the effects of the economic downturn in agriculture.

“The investment income from farm-saved seed represents a lifeline for many breeding programmes.”

Wheat rates rise by about 7% to 28.69/t, oilseed rape by slightly less to 1381/t.

Peas see the biggest increase the new rate of 35.58 marks a rise of 35%.

Spring and winter barley payments are up by 16% and 12%, respectively.

The increases are somewhat ironic, says NFU seeds advisor Fiona Clavin.

“Farm-saved seed is one of the routes that farmers take to cut costs. Unfortunately, it has this knock-on effect of increasing royalties as agreed under EU legislation.

“While we support a level of remuneration to breeders, we also want farm-saved seed to remain viable.”

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