Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protected wheat varieties woes - what you don´t know can hurt you

09.02.2004


Possession isn’t necessarily nine-tenths of the law, especially if the purchase is a wheat variety protected by the Plant Variety Protection Act. This misunderstood and often-ignored law may soon become more stringently enforced, largely due to the stepped-up use of DNA plant testing.



Gary Bomar, Texas Cooperative Extension agricultural agent for Taylor County, said the practice of "catching" or keeping some of the current crop’s production for planting the following season has long been practiced in the farming business.

"That’s not a problem in itself," he said. "The law says farmers may save a limited amount of a protected variety seed for replanting, but they can’t sell planting seed to anyone without permission from the owner. Of course, if the seed is not a protected variety, there are no restrictions.


"Variety infringement cases are popping up all over the United States, and there will be one here one day. We’ve got too much wheat grown here for there not to be. It’s already happened in Wichita Falls. We in Extension are always talking about an educational opportunity. But the real education in this case will be when a producer out here gets fined about $35,000. That’s going to educate them pretty quick."

JW "Dub" Vinson owns Abilene Ag Service and Supply. He also holds the rights to WinMaster, a PVPA wheat variety that’s popular among Central West Texas producers.

Vinson explained the scenario: "Say a farmer plants some of this WinMaster seed, a protected variety, and that wheat did pretty well for him. So he says, ‘Well I’ll just catch some of that seed and sell it to my neighbor.’ Abilene Ag is entitled to a royalty from that sale. If I don’t get paid that royalty or give permission for that specific sale, then it’s against the law. In fact it’s a federal offense.

"That’s the real kicker in it. It’s not a misdemeanor, it’s a federal offense and they can carry you to the federal courthouse. And the royalty owner wins them all."

Vinson said they win them all because DNA testing is so accurate now that a person can plant a protected variety, sell the resulting seed and wheat heads pulled from the subsequent crop can be traced to the original parent crop.

"You can tell them it’s against the law," said Vinson, "and they’ll say ‘Why, I bought that seed. That’s my seed and I’ll do what I want with it.’

"But they know it’s a protected variety. It’s on the tag. They have to sign a form when they buy it. If a farmer brings wheat seed here for us to clean and treat, they’ve got to specify what variety it is. If they tell me it’s a protected variety they want to clean and sell to somebody else, I tell them I won’t process it. They’ll have to go somewhere else."

Bomar summed up the problem by saying: "Even if you come to my farm and buy a PVPA wheat straight from the combine and plant it without paying the royalty, then we’re both guilty - even if you, the buyer, didn’t know the wheat was a protected variety. Granted, I should have told you, but even if I didn’t we’re both still technically liable.

"This is a serious matter that’s going to result in some mighty unhappy folks sooner or later if things don’t change."

Quick Facts concerning the PVPA found on the Web at http://www.ams.usda.gov/science/pvpo/PVPindex.htm state:

-The PVPA provides developers of new varieties of plants patent-like rights that protect the reproduction and distribution of their varieties.

-Varieties that are protected under the PVPA can be sold as seed stocks only with permission of the certificate holder and in some cases, only as a class of Certified seed.

-Varieties that are protected must have labels on the seed containers indicating the type of protection.

-Farmers may save a limited amount of seed for replanting, but cannot sell it to anyone without permission of the owner.

For more information on the PVPA contact: Plant Variety Protection Office Dr. Paul M. Zankowski, Commissioner, 10301 Baltimore Ave. Room 401 National Agricultural Library Build. Beltsville, MD 20705. The telephone number is (301) 504-5518; email address ispaul.zankowski@usda.gov

Steve Byrns | Texas A&M University
Further information:
http://agnews.tamu.edu/dailynews/stories/SOIL/Feb0504a.htm

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University

nachricht New machine evaluates soybean at harvest for quality
04.10.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>