MINNETONKA, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Syngenta has accepted settlements from Dennis McKinney of Greensburg, Kansas, U.S., and Barrett Smith of Macksville, Kansas, U.S., in response to Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) violations. McKinney admitted to selling AgriPro Jackpot wheat seed to Smith, and Smith admitted to attempting to resell the AgriPro Jackpot wheat seed, infringing on PVPA certificates owned or licensed by Syngenta.
Both McKinney and Smith agreed to cease and desist from all further efforts to offer and/or sell Syngenta PVPA-protected wheat seed varieties.
“The PVPA protects the high-quality, high-performing products that wheat growers are asking for and expect from our AgriPro network of seedsmen, and it ensures that continued innovation will be available,” said Darcy Pawlik, product marketing manager, Syngenta cereals. “Purchasing certified AgriPro seed allows Syngenta to continue investing in research and development, and to improve the wheat varieties available to growers.”
Under the PVPA, producers and others may not offer or sell protected wheat seed without permission. The law allows for legal action against all parties involved in transactions that violate the law, potentially including the seller, the buyer, the cleaner, grain elevators and any other parties. The PVPA entitles owners of PVPA-protected varieties to obtain injunctions, monetary damages and reimbursement of attorneys’ fees, among other remedies, against individuals selling its non-certified wheat seed.
The law protects all wheat industry participants. Growers who need innovation and genetic providers that invest in developing new wheat varieties operate under the assumption that their long-term investment will be protected by the PVPA. Illegal sales of varieties reduces available investment needed for developing new and improved varieties. New genetics benefit farmers, the agriculture industry and consumers.
AgriPro Jackpot is a hard red winter wheat variety. It is high tillering and early maturing with good test weights. AgriPro Jackpot is one of several varieties of PVPA-protected wheat marketed by Syngenta in Kansas and the Southern Plains region of the United States.
Syngenta, along with several public and private plant breeders, will continue protecting its intellectual property investment and unique wheat genetics through court action if needed, the company said. Syngenta is a sponsor, along with many other institutions, of a strong educational campaign promoting continued wheat research through supporting a wheat industry cooperative known as the Farmers’ Yield Initiative (FYI).
FYI is 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, Syngenta said it 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.