I’m taking a break from legal issues to highlight forthcoming articles that might interest some of you. I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with Dale Morris, Turfgrass and Seed, Program Manager with Maryland Department of Agriculture, and Dr. Bob Kratochvil, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, to let Maryland producers understand legal issues associated with using saved seeds to plant a cover crop.
Many producers looking to plant cover crops may use saved seeds, trade saved seeds, or buy seeds not labeled to save money. The problem with this is that many cover crop varieties may be protected under federal laws that limit the ability to utilize a producer’s own saved seed or purchase saved seeds. The article, Farmer Saved Seed – What is Legal – What is Not, is currently available on the Maryland Agronomy News and will soon be released as a fact sheet by the University of Maryland Extension. For more information, see Legal Liability of Saving Seeds in an Era of Expiring Patents, a fact sheet I wrote prior to the cover crop issue coming up but covering the same federal and state laws in more detail.