Montana Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) experimental lines are considered for release when the following conditions are met:

A. TESTING

  1. The minimum number of testing locations and calendar years required for release are:
    1. Cereal grains require a minimum of 16 location-years collected in two cropping seasons for agronomic performance.
    2. Perennial forage crops require data from three harvest years, not including the year of seeding, at four locations, with at least one location providing an estimate of winter hardiness and/or drought tolerance.
    3. Horticulture and specialty crops require a minimum of one location and three cropping seasons.
    4. Native plants require AOSCA standards for source identified or selected class germplasm.
  2. Test results are adequate to determine the experimental lines' potential and limitations.

B. APPLICATION FOR RELEASE

  1. Applications should include the following information:
    1. Agronomic and pest (e.g. disease resistance) data.
    2. Quality data.
    3. Variety description and number of increase generations permitted for seed certification program.
    4. Status of Breeder and Foundation Seed.
  2. Variety release applications must be submitted in writing and electronically to Head, Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology (PSPP).

C. VARIETY RELEASE COMMITTEES

  1. Variety Release Committees include:
    1. Wheat
    2. Barley
    3. Forage Crop
    4. Specialty Crop
    5. Horticulture and Native Plants
  2. Committee recommendations shall be based on a majority rule basis. Written minority reports may be submitted.
  3. Committee members, if not present, must submit a written vote or request a proxy to the Chair.
  4. Non-voting members are encouraged to attend meetings and participate in the discussions.

D. PROCEDURES

  1. Variety Release Committees will usually meet in mid-winter to allow adequate time for breeding and Foundation Seed programs to implement decisions.
  2. Chair will solicit applications, assign membership and forward applications to appropriate committee members.
  3. Chair will serve as a non-voting member for all variety release committees and will assign a Secretary.
  4. The breeder of the experimental line will present data and discuss its attributes, limitations, and preferred release option (F.2.a., F.2.b., F.2.c.).
  5. Variety Release Committee should consider the experimental line to be equal or superior in overall merit to the check varieties or have unique characteristics or special-use considerations.
  6. Chair will submit the committee recommendations for approval to the Director of MAES.
  7. Administrative action taken will be transmitted to the Chair within 30 days from the Director of MAES. Chair will in turn notify committee members about the administrative review result.
  8. Written approval by PSPP Department Head and Director of MAES is necessary for variety release. The Director of MAES has veto power over Committee action. The Director of MAES will make the final decision on Public Releases (F.2.a.) and Protected Public Releases (F.2.b.) and the Vice President for Research, Creativity and Technology Transfer will make the final decision on Licensed Releases (F.2.c.).
  9. Variety Release Committees may waive the requirements of a specific rule(s) based on the recommendation of three-fourths (75%) of the Variety Release Committee voting membership.

E. VARIETY RELEASE COMMITTEES AND MEMBERSHIPS

  1. The Variety Release Committees will consist of:
    Wheat Variety Release Committees
    Wheat, Barley, Forage Crop, Specialty Crop, Horticulture & Native Plants
    Voting Members, 16 Affiliation Appointing Administrator
    Chair (non-voting) PSPP Head Director, MAES
    1. TBD annually Breeder PSPP Head
    2. TBD annually Quality - Cereal or Forage PSPP Head
    3. TBD annually Plant Pathologist PSPP Head
    4. TBD annually Representative Montana Foundation Seed Program
    5. TBD annually Representative Montana Seed Growers Association
    6. TBD annually Weed Scientist LRES Head
    7. TBD annually Cropping Systems LRES Head
    8. TBD annually Entomologist LRES Head
    9. TBD annually   NARC Superintendent
    10. TBD annually   CARC Superintendent
    11. TBD annually   WTARC Superintendent
    12. TBD annually   NWARC Superintendent
    13. TBD annually   EARC Superintendent
    14. TBD annually   SARC Superintendent
    15. TBD annually Representative MAES State Advisory Council

    One member from below added to each of the Five Variety Release Committees
    16. Wheat Representative Montana Wheat and Barley Committee
    16. Barley – Feed Representative Montana Wheat and Barley Committee
    16. Barley – Malt Representative American Malting Barley Association
    16. Specialty Crop Representative Research Center Head
  2. The Wheat and Barley Variety Protection Committee will consist of:
    Wheat and Barley Variety Protection Committee
    Voting Members, 7 Affiliation Appointing Administrator
    Chair (non-voting) Director, MAES NA
    1. PSPP Head NA
    2. Faculty Director, MAES
    3. Representative Montana Foundation Seed Program
    4. Representative Montana Seed Growers Association
    5. Representative Montana Seed Trade Association
    6. Representative Montana Wheat & Barley Committee
    7. Representative MAES State Advisory Council
    Ex-officio Representative Montana Dept. of Agriculture, Seed Division
    Ex-officio Representative VP for Research, Creativity & Technology Transfer
  3. A Research Fee will be collected on all Registered Class and Certified Class seed sold of Protected Public Release varieties of wheat or barley (only option F.2.b.). The purpose of the fee is to provide direct support to the MSU breeding and other MSU plant improvement programs. The MAES Director will establish a MSU designated fund for protection of Plant Variety Protection (PVP) title V varieties. This will be distributed as follows: 1) pay for costs associated with PVP title V and fees (administrative and MAES), 2) 50% of net to breeding program that developed the variety generating the research fees and, 3) 50% of net to fund high priority programs for variety improvement, cereal quality and focused outreach.
  4. A Research Fee Agreement developed by MAES between the company/private entity and MSU will be executed prior to distributing Foundation Seed of a Protected Public Release of wheat or barley to the company/private entity.

Variety Release Policy Org Chart

F. DISTRIBUTION OF A MSU VARIETY

  1. Montana Foundation Seed Program and/or a member of the Montana Seed Growers Association are responsible for the increase of Foundation class seed. Permission must be obtained from the PSPP Head and the Director of MAES to increase Foundation seed outside of these programs.
  2. Variety Release Options:
    1. Public Release: Variety of a new release is allocated to a qualified seed grower(s) with no research or royalty fee.
    2. Protected MSU Public Release: New release of wheat or barley is protected with PVP title V with a MAES Research Fee.
    3. License Release: Variety is protected with PVP title V and released as an exclusive (one business) or non-exclusive (more than one business) process. Each requires a license agreement with MSU Technology Transfer. MSU Royalty Fees are collected with a license releases and MAES Research Fees are not collected.
  3. Wheat and Barley Variety Protection Committee will review wheat and barley varieties for protection by PVP title V or release as a public variety with an agreement for collection of fees on Registered Seed and Certified Seed sold.
  4. The Director of MAES has veto power over Committee action. The Director of MAES will make the final decision on Public Releases (F.2.a.) and Protected Public Releases (F.2.b.) and the Vice President for Research, Creativity and Technology Transfer will make the final decision on Licensed Releases (F.2.c.).
  5. The Director of MAES will charge a License Release Committee with providing a recommendation on the release process. The Office of Technology Transfer, MSU will be responsible for appropriate license agreements for an exclusive or non-exclusive licensed release.