Canadian Farmers Warned About Illegal Elgin Wheat Sales

North Dakota State University’s Research Foundation is warning Canadian farmers about illegal sales of a new hard red spring wheat variety developed at NDSU.

FP Genetics Inc. is the only Canadian company allowed to sell the variety known as Elgin-ND. However, NDSU says “some U.S. seedsmen and others may be approaching farmers/entities in Canada to try to sell certified seed of Elgin-ND in Canada or have been approached by farmers or entities in Canada in an effort to buy Elgin-ND seed to plant in Canada.”

Under U.S. Plant Variety Protection laws, Elgin can only be sold as a class of certified seed and by variety name, and cannot be exported or imported without approval from the research foundation (NDSURF.) Since they are the sole distributor in Canada, seed sales must be completed through FP Genetics, notes Dale Zetocha, NDSURF’s executive director.

“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 FP Genetics Inc.,” he explains in a recent news release. “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.”

He says NDSU will prosecute any known infringement of its PVP rights:  “Anyone violating the export, import or unauthorized sale of Elgin-ND 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.”

Elgin was recommended for a three-year interim registration in Western Canada at the Prairie Grain Development Committee meetings in February. Along with its sister varieties Faller and Prosper, Elgin could fit into a new interim milling wheat class announced last week by the Canadian Grain Commission.

There were similar legal concerns about Faller wheat crossing the border in 2012 and 2013.

NDSURF asks that producers who are approached to sell Elgin seed in Canada by anyone other than FP Genetics contact Ron Weik at (306) 791-1045.

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