These notes provide general guidance and supporting information of the rules surrounding farm-saved seed. If you are in any way unsure about your situation, please contact the BSPB Helpline on 01353 653209 for Combinable Crops or 01353 653208 for Potatoes.
- Farm-saved seed is defined as seed planted on a farmer's own holding using seed harvested on his own holding. By law, farm-saved seed can only be planted on the holding on which it was produced.
- Farmers cannot sell, buy, barter, or otherwise transfer farm-saved seed outside their own holding for subsequent re-planting.
- 'Own holding' means any holding or part of a holding which the farmer utilises for crop production, whether as his own property or otherwise managed as one economic unit.
- An economic unit is not necessarily a single property. Two or more separate farms owned or rented by the same farmer would be the 'own holding' of the farmer, and farm saved seed could legitimately be moved between them.
- Where a landowner employs a contractor to farm their land the responsibility to return the Farm Saved Seed declaration remains with the landowner unless the contractor has agreed to declare on behalf of the landowner.
- If a farmer sells or rents his farm to another farmer, the obligation to declare and pay for the use of farm-saved seed transfers to the new farmer.
- Farm-saved seed legislation is implemented under EU and UK law. Farmers are legally obliged to declare their use of all farm-saved seed and pay for the use of eligible varieties please see list of varieties here.
- Farm-saved seed rules cover the following crops: Wheat; Barley; Oilseed Rape; Oats; Triticale; Field Peas; Field Beans; Linseed; Yellow Lupins; Potatoes.
- For combinable crops, most farm-saved seed payments are collected via NAAC or BSPB registered seed processors. This will be documented as a component of the processing invoice. Farmers should retain this documentation as proof of payment for their use of farm-saved seed.
- If any payment for the use of farm-saved seed has not been made via a registered processor, farmers must declare their use of that seed and make any payment due direct to BSPB using the declaration form or through the on-line portal in hectares.
- The legal requirement for farmers to declare their use of farm-saved seed, and to pay for the use of eligible varieties, is attached to the Intellectual Property rights (Plant Breeders Rights) contained in each variety, and applies when seed is sown.
- Small farmers are contacted once every five years and are exempt from paying for the use of farm-saved seed. If you think you qualify as a small farmer receiving this declaration request, please notify BSPB.
- All farm-saved seed payments are subject to VAT.