PBR – narrow the scope of the Plant Breeder’s Rights farmers’ exemption

At a glance

Policy ID: 146

Status: Policy development

Priority: High

Plant breeders rights

Issue summary

The farmers’ exemption (section 17 of the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994) allows a person engaged in farming activities to harvest propagating material from their own plants and reproduce it, without infringing any plant breeder’s rights in the material. It was intended to protect farmers of seed crops, who traditionally keep some of the harvest for re-use the following season.

Concerns have been raised that the farmers’ exemption extends too far, including into unintended areas, such as ornamental flowers or grafting fruit trees. 


  • Identified for action 23 February 2022
  • Policy development 5 December 2022


Issue is being considered as part of IP Australia’s PBR reform work.

Policy feedback

You can provide feedback on this policy through the form below.


By clicking the submit button below, you consent to any personal information you provide through this form being handled in accordance with the IP Australia Privacy Policy.