A Saskatchewan farmer who became famous for his court battle with Monsanto over its genetically modified canola seeds has died at the age of 89.

Percy Schmeiser's son says the farmer from Bruno suffered from Parkinson's disease and passed away yesterday afternoon.

Monsanto took Schmeiser to court in the late 1990s, alleging he was using its seeds without a licence although he said they could have blown over from a neighbour's farm or passing trucks.

The Supreme Court of Canada eventually ruled he had infringed on Monsanto's patent but did not have to pay damages to the company.

The producers of a newly-released movie about his life called Percy say he stood by his principles in the face of tremendous adversity.