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Small Grain Seed Shortage in N.D.?

The North Dakota State Seed Department is conducting a survey this week to see if there is enough small grain seed in the state to meet expected demand.

High market prices may have enticed some seed producers to sell their crop as grain rather than save it for seed, says Steve Sebesta, North Dakota State Seed Department deputy commissioner.

Seed producers who choose to participate in the voluntary survey are being asked to return the surveys by Jan. 25.

You can call the State Seed Department at 701-231-5400 if you are looking for a particular variety.

Illegal seed sales
State Seed Department officials are concerned that a shortage of seed could lead to a rash of illegal seed sales.

Most small-grain varieties are protected by the Plant Variety Protection Act and may only be sold as a class of certified seed. But tight inventories of popular varieties encourage those with uncertified seed to risk selling it to neighbors or others as brown-bagged seed

"Brown bagging is illegal carries a $5,000 fine per violation.

"Fines can extend to the seller, the conditioner, the buyer or anyone who assists in the unauthorized sale of protected varieties," Sebesta says.

NDSU Extension Communications contributed information for this article.

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