The Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission believes that farmers need consultation time before a proposed seed royalty law is approved.
“Sask. Wheat has not taken a stand on either option,” commissioner Jake Leguee told a Sask. Wheat workshop in Moose Jaw. “We think the royalty proposal isn't understood and farmers need more time to understand it.”
The federal government plans to approve one of the options this spring. Consultations started last fall and were extended into this year.
Both options would require royalties be paid on grain saved for seed – traditional farm practice.
Farmers and farm organizations have opposed the scheme over increased cost to farmers and a belief the plan will encourage government to stop funding new seed research.
The scheme would apply only to seed varieties registered after a 2015 treaty.
Research is the main focus of Sask. Wheat with 80 per cent of the annual $6 million budget allocated to it, said Leguee, a Weyburn farmer.
Since being formed in 2013, Sask. Wheat's $19.1 million in research has helped fund $104 million of wheat research.
Funds are raised from a voluntary producer check-off at sale.
Ron Walter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.