sealPurdue News

August 29, 2002

Agricultural Summit to address seed research and rights

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Indiana agricultural leaders and producers will spend a day learning about seed research and development, legal issues and regulations governing seed use.

The Agricultural Summit will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Farm Bureau Building, 225 S. East St. in Indianapolis. The cost for the event is $30, including lunch. The event is cosponsored by the Purdue University School of Agriculture and Indiana Farm Bureau.

"How farmers handle seed has changed dramatically in recent years with the development of new technologies and traits," said Victor Lechtenberg, dean of agriculture at Purdue. "We hope the summit will help producers better understand intellectual property rights, university and private sector research, and industry contracts."

Historically, farmers purchased seed and saved some of their crop for replanting. With the development of unique traits in seed corn and soybeans, such as pest resistance, companies began charging fees for the use of the new traits and requiring farmers not to save their seed.

"There are positives and negatives concerning the new technologies being developed and the legal issues concerned," Lechtenberg said. "But protection of intellectual property is important and vital to continuing research into novel and unique seed varieties."

Topics to be covered by a variety of speakers include:

• Intellectual property rights.

• Plant breeding and seed variety development.

• Indiana seed regulations.

• Seed purity testing.

• Purdue's role in developing new seed technologies.

A panel discussion will wrap up the day. Panelists will include representatives of biotech companies, a seed licensing agent, producer, food processor and grain handler. Topics they will cover include how seed traits are chosen for development and how they are priced and marketed; seed selection and crop marketing; and identity segregation.

For more information or to register for the Agricultural Summit, contact Marshall Martin, Purdue associate director of agricultural research programs, at (765) 494-8370. Registration deadline is Sept. 9. Checks should be made payable to the Purdue Research Foundation.

Writer: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722;

Sources: Victor Lechtenberg, (765) 494-8392

Marshall Martin, (765) 494-8370

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

Related Web sites:
Purdue School of Agriculture
Purdue Agricultural Research Programs

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page