ST. LOUIS (October 22, 2013) - The last U.S. patent covering the original Roundup Ready® soybean trait expires in 2015. As U.S. farmers begin thinking about purchasing their soybean seed for 2014 planting, they have a new resource to answer their questions about the expiration of Monsanto’s original Roundup Ready soybean trait – soybeans.com.
“Even though the original Roundup Ready soybean trait is covered by a patent in the United States until the start of the 2015 planting season, we’re already getting questions from farmers about what they can and cannot do with Roundup Ready soybeans. Soybeans.com can help answer questions growers may have about patents as they pertain to planting and saving original Roundup Ready varieties, as well as the benefits of new seed. It’s a great resource for farmers as they plan for next year,” said Monsanto’s U.S. Oilseeds Product Management Lead Norm Sissons.
The site outlines Monsanto’s commitments regarding the original Roundup Ready trait patent expiration, explains the different patents and breeders’ rights typically covering soybean seed, and includes frequently asked questions and a decision tree on saving seed.
“We hope by having a web site like soybeans.com available, we’re able to provide a useful service to farmers and answer their questions,” said Sissons. “Soybeans.com helps give farmers a good understanding of seed patents, so they are aware of how they can legally use the seed they purchase and so they understand which seeds varieties are still protected by patents and may not be savable, including Monsanto’s second generation higher yielding soybean trait, Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield®.”
“Because patent law and seed technology is complicated, figuring out which seeds can be legally saved and planted is complicated too. Soybeans.com is a good first stop for farmers who are interested in potentially saving and planting soybeans with the original Roundup Ready trait,” Sissons added. “We recommend they review soybeans.com and then visit with their local seed dealer to get more information before purchasing their seed.” ”
USDA has started distributing Conservation Reserve Program annual rental payments to participants across the country. Beginning October 24th - the department will also distribute 2013 direct payments and 2012 Average Crop Revenue Election program payments. The payments were originally scheduled to be issued earlier in the month - but were delayed as a result of the lapse in federal funding. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the payment delays due to the shutdown were an unnecessary burden on farmers, ranchers and rural landowners who count on USDA programs. He says USDA has prioritized to make these scheduled payments without any further delay and Farm Service Agency staff have worked hard to get this assistance out the door as quickly as possible. National Cotton Council Chairman Jimmy Dodson said the U.S. cotton industry is very grateful for USDA’s timeliness on these distributions. He said this will facilitate orderly crop marketing as well as the availability of working capital as the peak harvest season approaches.
According to USDA - producers will receive payments on almost 700-thousand CRP contracts on 390-thousand farms covering 26.8-million acres. In exchange for a yearly rental payment provided by USDA on contracts ranging from 10 to 15 years - farmers and ranchers enrolled in CRP agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant grasses or trees that will improve water quality and improve waterfowl and wildlife habitat.
Direct payments for 2013 for the DCP and ACRE programs are being made to the more than 1.7-million farms enrolled in the Farm Service Agency’s programs. Producers with base acres of certain commodities are eligible for DCP payments. ACRE payments for 2012-crop barley, corn, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, dry peas, soybeans and wheat are contingent upon national average market prices and yields in each state.
With the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill extension on September 30th - USDA notes FSA doesn’t have legislative authority to approve or process applications for the DCP, ACRE and CRP program