NDSU Research Foundation warns of illegal grain sales
Faller, a North Dakota State University-developed hard red spring wheat, is a popular variety in the U.S. because of its higher yield potential. However, some U.S. seedsmen and others have been approached by farmers or entities in Canada in an effort to buy Faller seed to plant in Canada.
Faller is owned by the NDSU Research Foundation (NDSURF) and is protected by PVP (Plant Variety Protection) in the U.S. Because of the ownership and protection, Faller only can be sold as a class of certified seed and by variety name. Also, seeds cannot be exported or imported without the approval of NDSURF.
Seed Depot Corp. is the sole and exclusive licensee and distributor of Faller in Canada, so seed exports into Canada must be completed through Seed Depot Corp.
U.S. seedsmen or other parties are in violation of NDSURF’s PVP rights if they sell or transfer seeds to any Canadian entity other than through Seed Depot Corp., says Dale Zetocha, NDSURF executive director. This includes seed or grain of any nature or classification that is exported into Canada and converted to seed after it crosses the border or seed that is mislabeled as another variety until after it crosses the border.
It is an infringement of NDSURF’s PVP rights to export or import (directly or indirectly) seeds without NDSURF’s written permission to any country outside of the U.S. Under the law, the exporter or importer very likely would be subject to penalties.
NDSURF will prosecute any known infringement of its PVP rights, Zetocha says. Anyone violating the export, import or unauthorized sale of Faller hard red spring wheat could face triple damages. Also, violators are subject to the collection of attorney fees, other costs and harvested material. The court could, upon request, order the infringer to immediately cease the growing and/or sale of all NDSURF-protected varieties.
Producers who are approached to sell Faller seed into Canada by anyone other than a Seed Depot Corp. representative should contact John Smith at (204) 825-2000.