Kansas Wheat Alliance (KWA) announced today that they have accepted $10,000 to release and discharge Paul Simpson, Weir, Kansas, from an alleged infringement claim stemming from the unauthorized offering for sale of the Everest wheat variety.
“Almost all of the popular wheat varieties in Kansas are PVP protected,” stated Daryl Strouts, KWA president. “There has been an ongoing effort to educate farmers since 1970 about the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act (PVP). KWA has supported these efforts, including the mailing of 50,000 brochures annually to producers in the central plains. If farmers don’t know about PVP, it’s because they don’t want to know.”
“There are a lot of farmers out there who are buying Certified seed and supporting the seed industry,” Strouts continued. “By purchasing Certified seed, farmers support public and private research programs, which provide them with significant advancements in access to improved wheat varieties at a much faster rate.”
Farmers have the right to save and re-plant seed of most wheat varieties when they buy Certified seed, but they don’t have the right to sell the progeny as seed. However, when farmers purchase illegal seed, they lose the right to save and re-plant their own seed.
“If the wheat industry is ever going to catch up to the advances made in corn and soybeans, it will have to begin with farmers purchasing more Certified seed each year. Making the choice to save seed is shortsighted,” Strouts said.
More than 80% of the wheat grown in Washington state is planted with Certified seed each year. Farmers in that area are seeing significant investments from private companies to develop new wheat varieties there.
Certified seed wheat use in Colorado is nearly 50%. Consequently, Colorado farmers are gaining access to improved wheat varieties at a much faster rate.
Kansas and most of the southern plains have planted only about 25% Certified wheat seed since the 1980s. While there have been improvements in wheat varieties, they have been greatly outpaced by the improvements in corn and soybeans.
Kansas Wheat Alliance, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that was founded in 2007 with the goal of maximizing value for wheat farmers from new wheat varieties developed by Kansas State University and other wheat-breeding programs. The Kansas Wheat Alliance delivers modern genetic technology that is not otherwise showing up in wheat varieties, a real economic benefit to the wheat producers and end-users of the crop.