Clarifications issued for farm saved seed declarations

With 2023 spring declarations underway, the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB) has published payment rates for farmed saved seed and the latest list of eligible varieties, including advice on blends, cover crops and what farmers should do in the event of a failed crop.

British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB) published payment rates for farmed saved seed

Seed declarations must be made on all eligible varieties regardless of yield and whether the variety makes up part of a blend or cover crop.

BSPB CEO Sam Brooke said the society has seen an uplift in farm saved seed declarations being submitted online since the launch of the new returns platform in 2021.

“However, there is still some confusion around what to declare, so we wanted to clarify the requirements, especially the need for all protected varieties to be declared regardless of whether they are part of a blend, cover crop or failed crop,” she added.

It is a legal requirement for all farmers to produce and sow farm saved seed on the same holding. This prohibits the sharing or sale of seed between growers.

The BSPB is keen to remind farmers that yield, and whether the variety makes up part of a blend or cover crop, does not affect the need to make a declaration.

“Farm saved seed declarations apply to cover crops, volunteer crops, companion crops, whole crops and bi-crops, regardless of yield. In the case of a failed crop, such as OSR, the seed declaration is still required because payment is due on sowing not harvest. It is illegal to sell, buy, barter or share farm saved seed,” Ms Brooke stressed.

Moreover, any protected variety should be declared when the seed from the crop is sown. Where the protected variety is sown as part of a blend or cover crop, growers must also declare the ratio of seed in the blend. This percentage can then be used along with the seeding rate to calculate the payment needed for using the blend.

Growers are also advised against saving seed from hybrid varieties as this can result in variable offspring, reduced yields, loss of agronomic characters and goes against current legislation.

“Saving seed from hybrid varieties is not advised and must be avoided to protect future yields. If there is any uncertainty, the BSPB team is on hand to help and offer guidance on how to calculate and declare all varieties of farm saved seed,” Ms Brooke concluded.

For more information, help and advice, contact the BSPB farm saved seed team on 01353 653209 or email

Declarations can be made online at

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