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Farm groups conduct seed royalty survey

Farm groups conduct seed royalty survey

The survey will help gauge producer awareness about current proposals

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Three farm groups are asking producers across Western Canada to participate in a survey about seed royalties.

Keystone Agricultural Producers, the Alberta Federation of Agriculture and the Agricultural Producers (APAS) Association of Saskatchewan have released the Producer Survey on Seed Royalties.

The eight-question survey asks producers about their awareness of federal consultations on seed royalties and if they’re aware of the two models under consideration.

One model is end-point royalties, which would be collected at point of sale and distributed to breeders based on market share or a rate specific to a variety.

The other model, a contract-enabled royalty, would see producers agree to conditions on farm-saved seed.

The farm groups hope to develop an understanding of how happy farmers are with the money they invest into research. And with the federal election approaching, the government may not give this issue much attention, said Todd Lewis, president of APAS.

“It doesn’t look like the federal government is going to do anything about seed royalties leading up the election,” he told Farms.com.

“We thought this (survey) would be a good way to gauge how farmers understand the situation. Farmers aren’t opposed to putting money to research, but we want to make sure the money we direct towards research goes where it’s needed to so we can improve seed varieties and our sector overall.”

The groups are encouraging farmers from all Prairie provinces to take part in the survey because the collected data could lead to a third potential seed royalty model, Lewis said.

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