EPR advice at the click of a mouse

Information and general advice about the end point royalty (EPR) collection system is now available online.

Growers are invited to bookmark Variety Central on their website browsers to help manage information about the EPR collection system, the EPR rates for different varieties, seed distribution status and links to websites that can help manage compliance with licencing agreements.

The website is compiled and maintained by Denis McGrath on behalf of the EPR steering committee, which comprises of representatives from plant breeding companies, seed commercialisers and the GRDC.

Mr McGrath describes the website as a key resource for understanding licencing agreements associated with EPR varieties, as well as information about new varieties, fact sheets and information about seed distribution and contact details for the seed companies.

He continually updates the information. Recently that meant adding new functions in response to inquiries from growers in 2012.

“I’ve had a few calls, especially about the harvest declaration form,” he says. “So I have now included a dummy form and links to contacts of the company coordinating the distribution and collection of the Harvest Declaration Form.

“I also include media statements from breeding companies about the release of new varieties in the ‘News’ section and hope to soon include a summary of all the new variety releases for which seed is available for the first time.”

Reports from bulk handlers indicate that the percentage of wheat that attracts an EPR has continued to grow and is now about 80 to 90 per cent of the grain they handle.

“In general, growers are declaring the variety correctly, knowing they will be paying a royalty,” Mr McGrath says.

“So the system is starting to deliver a sustainable and competitive funding model and encouraging breeders to deliver improved and innovative varieties for the future.”

EPRs were introduced in 1996. The grains industry formed the EPR steering committee in 2007 to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of EPR collection in Australia.

There are more than 180 varieties that attract an EPR across a range of crops, including cereals, pulses and canola.