A CLASS action claim involving allegedly contaminated sorghum is being brought to the Liverpool Plains.
A legal firm will visit, probably in early July, to talk to growers about the case against Advanta Seeds Pty Ltd (previously Pacific Seeds).
The case alleges the Advanta Seeds sorghum variety MR43 Elite was contaminated with the noxious weed shattercane between 2010 and 2014.
The class action is being served on behalf of Mallonland Pty Ltd, the company of a Queensland grower who is the representative plaintiff.
It claims that Advanta Seeds’ actions were misleading and deceptive and/or negligent.
Brisbane-based legal firm Creevey Russell Lawyers has been handling the case in Queensland.
Principal Dan Creevey said it had been extended to include NSW growers.
“I’ve been talking with a couple of farmers down there who have some infestation,” Mr Creevey said.
“We’ve been led to believe there have been somewhere between 500 and 600 people who have actually purchased this particular variety of sorghum, MR43 Elite, and at this stage we’ve probably only had about 20 contacts with actual growers ...
“If you purchased or planted MR43 seed between 2010 and 2014 and have been infected with shattercane, you need to make yourself known to us.
“We can then advise you whether you will be entitled to a share of any final payment obtained from Advanta.
“There is no risk or cost for you in doing so. The only risk is that you do not get in contact with us and consequentially miss out on a payment that could otherwise be made to you.”
WHAT IS SHATTERCANE?
Shattercane is a noxious weed which, if present in a crop of sorghum, competes strongly with it and results in a reduced yield.
Once present on land, it can spread vigorously and it can germinate, propogate and multiply quickly.
The name shattercane derives from the nature of the seed pod, which contains many thousands of seeds.
Shattercane seeds can lie dormant in soil for up to 12 years.
It is difficult to eradicate and the process often means that land can not be used commercially for a considerable time.