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Prairie farmers not in favour of proposed royalty systems: survey

Click to play video 'Prairie farmers not in favour of proposed royalty systems: survey' Prairie farmers not in favour of proposed royalty systems: survey
WATCH: The results have been released from the producer survey on seed royalties from Saskatchewan. Alberta and Manitoba agricultural producers.

Over a thousand farmers from across Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba had a chance to share their thoughts on a proposed seed royalty system for Canada and most disagreed with the proposed options.

Farmers currently have the ability to save seed from harvest to plant in the spring for some crops without any regulation but a saved seed royalty would change that.

The new seed royalty system would see farmers pay a fee every time they used farm-saved seed for wheat, barley, oats, flax and pulse crops.

READ MORE: Seed royalties survey for western Canadian farmers closes next week

Todd Lewis with the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) explained they launched the eight-question survey in July and have found most farmers aren’t in favour of the proposed changes.

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“A lot of dissatisfaction with what’s been proposed either the endpoint royalty or the trailing royalty,” he said.

“There is lots of concern over costs, farmers are concerned over farm saved seed issue, being able to reuse their seed every year and not having to pay for it.”

Proposed seed royalty survey results done by the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, the Alberta Federation of Agriculture and the Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba.
Proposed seed royalty survey results done by the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, the Alberta Federation of Agriculture and the Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba. APAS

Lewis said survey does show that 52 per cent of producers who completed the survey do want additional options for a seed royalty system, which could indicate farmers could want a change to the way research and development dollars are collected.

“They want to ensure that producers are able to get value for the money and they want control,” he said.

“To have some kind of say over (how) their money is spent and the varieties that are going to help their operation.”

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READ MORE: Proposed seed variety use agreement: implementing royalties for farm-saved seed

The survey also took a look at how well farmers understood the current proposals and if they’ve been provided with enough information — 20 per cent said they did not.

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), the Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA) and the Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba (KAP) plan to take the results to the federal government after the new cabinet is sworn in on Nov. 20.

The complete survey is available in the producer survey on seed royalties website.