Denied notices from USDA-ARS


Has anyone experienced an issue with their USDA-GRIN requests this year. I’ve had some exchanges back and forth with an individual running the program after he denied my pear and apricot requests. I was just wondering if anyone else who uses the system has been experiencing issues or been deemed “not worthy” by the powers that be.


1 Like

I think this was brought up a while back. I can’t say that I am honestly surprised. The program has been “abused” to some extent. Yes, we have gotten scion wood from them in the past. It was never intended for the program to be a source of scion wood for the home owner/ backyard grower.


I did get the feeling from my exchanges that the beleaguered folks at USDA do feel deeply abused. I tried suggesting that they invoice those they deem unworthy for costs if those individuals truly want access to the genetic material, but I was treated like the man with two heads.


I think either these programs eliminate all access for individuals, or they start charging us the going rate for scions/bud wood/whatever.


Their purpose is to support commercial agriculture so they try to be careful not to compete with businesses by giving away for free what nurseries are selling.


I agree. A library owned by the citizens of US should behave like a library, by finding a way to make more access, not less.
I also am troubled to think that people with advanced knowledge of plant grafting are able to rattle the USDA, which spends enormous sums of money to keep large agricultural engines happy.


I’m guessing that if individuals had to pay the same amount for USDA scions as we do from commercial sources, the number of requests at USDA would go down substantially.


But at least that would guarantee access — rather than gatekeeping the worthy from the unworthy.


I think they are sometimes more willing to share directly with back yard growers IF what is being requested is simply not commercially available in the US. Therefore it might help when making a request to specify whether that is the case.

That said, even as a nursery making requests I sometimes don’t get what I request from certain branch locations (with no explanation from them). They’re not heavily staffed and I suspect often have to make quick judgement calls when processing requests.


I think rather than worthy and unworthy, it is more along the lines of who can “sell” their requests for scions as actually being along the lines of what the USDA/GRIN/ARS programs are truly designed to do.


Our farm takes that exact approach. I’ve never requested something I could buy in the commercial space.

I couldn’t get seeds from them. I doubt any commercial operation sells them.

1 Like