The widespread drought which hammered Texas wheat fields all year could leave a lasting impression with the availability of quality seed wheat.

Drought conditions have decreased wheat yields, which may lead to tight seed supplies, “but there will be certified seed available,” said Rob Borchardt, Syngenta Seeds Southern Plains business manager.

In a year like this, producers are high encouraged to start looking for seed early.

“Most of the certified seed is produced on the best ground and in many instances under irrigation. There will be seed available, but one needs to get ahead of the game,” Borchardt said.

Small-grains farmers should also be aware of specific regulations regarding the Plant Variety Protection Act as harvest activities slow down across the state.

The plant protection act began in 1970 with the original version allowing farmers to save enough seed for their own use or sell that amount to a neighbor if the original plans for the seed changed. The 1994 amendment to the Plant Variety Protection Act prohibits the sale of all farmer-saved seed without the permission of the variety owner, and each variety is covered under the act for 20 years. Seed can only be sold by its variety name as certified seed.

Violations of the act include selling, buying, delivering, exchanging or advertising a protected variety or selling a protected variety without permission from the variety owner. A third party can clean and condition a “reasonable” amount of seed for a farmer if the seed is only planted on the farmer’s holdings. Any action toward marketing a protected variety is a violation of the act.