More groups weigh in on seed royalty proposal

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association says it’s in favour of paying royalties on farm-saved seed if it means better seed products for prairie farmers.

“As farmers, we don’t feel the status quo is good enough…,” said WCWGA president Levi Wood.

“(We) want improvements including more investment, innovation and competition.

“Competition is good, so if a new system encourages and facilitates more of it, we feel confident it’s a move in the right direction.”

On Nov. 27, the WCWGA issued a news release saying it “firmly supports efforts to create value in the seed sector” and reward investments in plant breeding.

The WCWGA issued its statement just two days before the Agricultural Producers of Association Saskatchewan (APAS) passed a resolution at its annual general meeting opposing royalties on farm saved seed.

According to the resolution, Saskatchewan’s general farm lobby group, “by all effective means” will oppose the adoption of end point royalties or trailing royalty contracts on farm-saved seed.

The federal government is currently holding consultation meetings on a plan that could see royalties charged on farm-saved seed within two to three years.

The next consultation meeting is scheduled to take place Dec. 4 in Saskatoon.

The federal consultations are seeking feedback on two proposed royalty models — farm-saved seed contracts and end-point royalties.

Royalty rates under both models have yet to be determined but regardless of which system is implemented, farmers would be paying more for seed each time they plant a crop using farm-saved seed.

“We’re letting the consultation process run its course before stating a preferred choice,” said Manitoba farmer and WCWGA director Gunter Jochum.

“Wheat growers are fully engaged in the sessions and are keen to learn more about the pros and cons of both solutions.”

Jochum said WCWGA supports the continuation of public breeding programs and believes a new royalty collection system would contribute to their sustainability.

Jochum, who farms near St. Francois Xavier, Man., west of Winnipeg, said wheat acreage on his farm was declining steadily until a few years ago when new wheat varieties with improved fusarium resistance were introduced.

He said proper financial incentives must be provided to ensure that cereal breeding programs continue to invest in varietal development.

“If breeders see good value in bringing new varieties to market … it benefits everyone,” he said.

“It benefits them and it benefits us as farmers.”

Contact brian.cross@producer.com

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Comments

  • ed

    You could not actually expect much better out of the Western Wheat Growers. Those kind of screw over the farmer policies that their two members express are in fact their standard status quo position on everything. That makes their gods happy, so it’s all good, right.

  • Heavy DZ

    As a farmer i am disgusted at this obvious attempt at yet another money grab. End users want the cheapest wheat, flour has been flour for a thousand years. How is making a product that is grown world wide, and with way cheaper inputs and labor, can charging Canadian farmers royalties be competitive? The world is awashed in wheat stocks, the price is barely worth growing, and what! more yield? How is the oil industry doing in Canada? with all the extra oil on the world market. I don’t know of any farmer, i have talked to about this, that hasn’t blown their top when they here this garbage. MONEY GRAB. I will not grow a crop at a loss, so others profit. No more wheat will be grown on my farm regardless of rotation.

    • Welderone

      Yes, you surely have that point correct Heavy DZ. There is no use finding better seed products for wheat when the world is awash in wheat stocks. Grain farmers have to grow less wheat not more wheat to have an increase in the price.

  • Heavy DZ

    What the point of commenting.

  • Heavy DZ

    i just unsubscribed from your emails. your pathetic moderators pushing corporate views is so uncanadian. Your not a news paper, your corporate whores.

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