Growers angry over $2/t wheat levy

29 Jan, 2009 03:00 AM
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Intergrain chief executive officer Dr Bryan Whan
Intergrain chief executive officer Dr Bryan Whan

GRAIN lobby groups are up in arms over the introduction of an End Point Royalty (EPR) of $2/tonne on Carnamah wheat this season.

Carnamah was first released in 1996 and commenced commercial production in 1997 but a levy had not been charged until this past harvest.

The new EPR has taken many sections of the industry by surprise, especially those who grow it.

Farm lobby groups are now taking action to get an explanation and to see if it can be removed.

However, InterGrain chief executive officer Dr Bryan Whan foreshadowed what could be an ongoing battle with growers over EPRs.

Dr Whan said the levies were needed to ensure plant breeding remained competitive.

He said wheat breeding had recently moved out of the public domain and was becoming privately funded.

"We either have a levy or we don't have a breeding program; it's as simple as that because we have to be viable," he said.

WA Grain Group spokesperson Ray Marshall said he was "bitterly disappointed" with InterGrain's decision to impose an EPR on Carnamah last year.

"It makes a mockery of the whole system," the Pingelly farmer said.

"It defies all logic and the basic principles of the EPR system.

"I have sent a terse letter off to InterGrain to air my thoughts on the matter.

"I understand a copy of it has ended up at WAFarmers and they share the exact same view.

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READER COMMENTS

steffi
29/01/2009 9:25:53 AM

They're feeding off the farming sector. Every Road Train of Carnamah wheat to the bin $104.00. Farmers, forget about growing Carnamah wheat and any other variety with such an impost. Every time your bottom line looks like improving up comes some group to relieve you of hard earned cash with a levy, be it on wheat, wool, livestock or any other commodity your producing. If Intergrain cannot compete without this post production tax on seed wheat they should admit it is a failed business unable to stand alone without this tax on producers.

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