The use of certified seed and planting material, along with crop rotation, are part of Good Agricultural Practices. In addition, certified seeds have several key advantages that guarantee farmers more profitable production.
- Reduced use of fungicides and insecticides
By using certified seed material, the spread of economically important diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, non-insect pests, nematodes, and mites is prevented. This results in reduced use of plant protection products (fungicides and insecticides). The benefits for soils and waters are clearly measurable, as the excessive use of pesticides is prevented.
- Limited weed development
When sowing with uncertified seed and planting material, the spread of economically important weeds, including parasitic and quarantine weeds, is observed. Investing in the production of certified seed material, on the other hand, limits the spread of weeds, which leads to reduced use of herbicides.
- Maximum yield potential of the variety or hybrid
The use of seeds with guaranteed quality, confirmed by laboratory analysis and certificate (for variety, generation, purity, economic qualities), is a guarantee for revealing the potential of the variety or hybrid in terms of quality and yield. With certified seeds with a clear origin of the genetic material and clear generation, more profitable production is achieved.
Incentives for the use of certified seeds
The use of certified seed material in grain production is more expensive for farmers. In Bulgaria, a scheme for aid in the production of certified seeds is applied. Despite this, the use of quality seeds is still not widespread. That is why financial stimulation of investment in the production of certified seeds only and the practice of strict crop rotation is necessary.
The introduction of seeds from higher to lower generations requires mandatory payment of copyright - royalties. The distribution of a variety or hybrid is not allowed without the corresponding negotiation and payment of copyright. The collection of royalties in Bulgaria for the distribution of Bulgarian and foreign selection seeds is strongly hindered, it is paid and collected partially. In this sense, the lack of a system for collecting royalties is a barrier to the use of high-tech seeds of varieties and hybrids, resistant to economically important diseases and pests, to biotic and abiotic factors, as well as tolerant to modern types of pathogens. Farmers' access to the latest achievements in selection, variety maintenance, and seed production will be facilitated by regulating the collection of royalties.