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Cover crop farm saved seed not exempt from royalties

An update to guidance on farm saved seed has been issued by Defra aimed at clarifying that even when crops are not taken to harvest, farmers must declare and pay for all eligible varieties of farm saved seed (FSS) they use to the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB).

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Chief executive of BSPB, Dr Penny Maplestone says previous wording in the guidance had been slightly misleading and some farmers had interpreted from it that if seed was used for cover crops or other crops not being taken to harvest, declaration and payment for eligible varieties of FSS was not necessary.

 

“Payment is due on sowing and is not dependent on whether a crop is harvested,” says Dr Maplestone.

 

Another change to the guidance means that previously zero rated varieties that at the time FSS royalty collection came in in 1996 were exempt but verification of the variety was required are all out of plant variety rights now, which for cereals is normally 25 years, so the verification requirement is no longer included in the guidance, explains Dr Maplestone.


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