Kansas Wheat Alliance settles PVP infringement cases
Adding to a growing list of past settlements, the Kansas Wheat Alliance has settled several more PVP infringement cases for illegal wheat seed cleaning or sales occurring in 2011.
The most significant case involves Scott Hooker of Kanarado, Kan. Hooker admitted to conditioning and selling federally protected wheat varieties licensed by KWA and the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation as non-certified seed without authorization. In the federal court case, the parties ultimately agreed to a judgment whereby Hooker has disclosed the names of his customers since 2007 and is liable for $250,000 in damages. Furthermore, Hooker must allow inspection of his records for the next three years.
Another matter included Charles and Donnie Beechem, Troy, Texas, who were caught selling Fuller wheat seed in a non-certified manner. These farmers paid $25,000 in damages to KWA. In a third matter, a Dickinson county Kansas farmer was also caught selling Fuller wheat seed. KWA received $10,000 in damages.
KWA continues a strong educational campaign in support of continued wheat research by supporting an educational cooperative known as the Farmers Yield Initiative, a coalition of public and private organizations dedicated to the education of the benefits of wheat research. Another component of education is enforcement of PVP laws. With this educational campaign, the KWA hopes to inform producers and sellers of the importance of wheat seed certification and the value it adds to the farming community through investment and research.
"We have an obligation to legal producers and the Kansas State University wheat research program to prevent illegal use of our federally protected seed," says Daryl Strouts, KWA president. "The certified seed industry protects the quality of our wheat industry, and royalties represent a substantial source of funding for our scientists to be able to develop new varieties for tomorrow."
The Kansas Wheat Alliance is a not-for-profit organization formed by wheat producers, researchers, and seed marketers with the goal of maximizing value for wheat farmers by promoting responsible management of new wheat varieties developed by Kansas State University and other wheat-breeding programs. Royalties are used to support wheat research that enhances the profitability of wheat producers.
For more information on KWA, please visit www.kswheatalliance.org.