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Herbage Seedgrowers to Hold Ballot

23 May 2008

Herbage Seedgrowers to Hold Ballot

“Growers of the ‘Commons’varieties of herbage seed will be asked if they want to continue their maintenance, said Hugh Wigley chairman of the Herbage Seedgrowers Subsection of Federated Farmers.

A ballot for growers of non proprietary varieties of herbage seed (Commons) will be held this May. Growers of NPC seed will be asked if they wish to continue to maintain ‘Common’ varieties through an Industry Levy. The existing Commodity Levies (Non Proprietary and Uncertified Herbage Seeds) Order 2003, expires 9 June 2009.

The Herbage Seedgrowers Subsection has prepared an application for the rollover of the existing levy order within the terms of the Commodity Levies Act 1990. Growers who grew NPC varieties for the 2007/2008 harvest will be eligible to vote. The referendum will take account of the numbers of growers who vote yes as well as the tonnage of production that votes in favour.

The Non Proprietary Cultivars to be maintained by an industry levy will be: Grasslands varieties of Nui, Huia, Manawa, Moata, Tama, Ruanui, Pawera, and Pitau.

The ballot is proposing to put in place authorisation for a levy ranging from zero to five percent for the five year life of the Levy Order.

Each year Herbage Seedgrowers Subsection estimates the volume of seed production and sets the levy rate to cover the cost of maintaining the NPCs. For the 2008 season, NPC levy rates are 0.4 percent for Nui and Huia and 3.0 percent for the remaining NPC varieties. At current market prices for Nui and Huia, the NPC levy works out at less than one cent a kg for Nui or less than two cents per kg for Huia.

The NPC levy funds are collected to pay for the maintenance of live pre-nucleus and nucleus plant crop, for selecting growers to produce breeders seed, to maintain an international listing of varieties. By funding these activities, Herbage Seedgrowers, representing all NPC growers, is able to keep the NPC varieties available to all seed growers.

“I urge all NPC seed growers to watch out for the NPC ballot form in their mail boxes. When you receive it, do not put it aside. Make your vote and post it back to the auditor. Your vote will make a difference,” Mr Wigley said.

ENDS

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