I just have to respond to the article, “Feds catch on to seed saving woes” (July 1, 2004).
When is the punishing of farmers going to stop?
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, has introduced a bill that will allow farmers to save seeds with patented technologies from one crop year to the next. This bill still makes farmers pay a fee of $7 for each bushel of seed saved to replant.
Does she realize farmers pay a high price for this seed in the first place? Then the farmers have to pay the expenses (fuel and labor) to till the ground so they can plant this expensive seed. They have to purchase fertilizer for it to grow. They have to pay more expenses (fuel and labor) to harvest their crops.
They have the expenses of storing the grain over the winter.
Farmers are the ones who take the risks to buy, plant, harvest and store this grain.
Now you want to charge the farmers additionally to re-use the grain they already purchased once at a high price, on top of their other expenses for planting, harvesting, and storing?
If the farmer were to sell this grain at $2.60 a bushel of corn; $8.26 a bushel of soybeans; $3.10 a bushel of wheat; $2.10 a bushel of oats to the feed store, would the feed store be responsible for paying that $7 a bushel payment to the seed companies?
If not, why does the farmers have to pay this extra cost?
Farmers have been getting the shaft of just about every bad deal for as long as I can remember and we are the ones who provide the most food to the American people.
Donald E. Bright