The road to Irish Certified Seed - Harvesting

Having passed field inspections by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) representatives, crops can be harvested when ripe. 


It is extremely important that every effort is made during harvesting to retain the following which are the cornerstones of quality Irish certified seed:

  • Varietal purity
  • Freedom from invasive species (Wild Oats, Brome and Canary Grass etc.)
  • Germination

Even minor damage to the seed can affect the ability of the seed to germinate. Cracked grains, skinned or partially-skinned grains, and grains killed through damage to the germ, cannot germinate properly. 

It is essential that correct combining of the crop occurs, as it is at this point that the potential seed crop can be irreversibly damaged. Lodging can also be a problem and it is recommended that these patches are excluded when harvesting to prevent the possibility of reduced germination and the subsequent rejection of the sample.

In addition, hygiene as always is critical; clean farm machinery and strict segregation of crops is vital.


At intake, the seed crop is sampled extensively and given a thorough inspection. The usual parameters of moisture and KPH, are monitored, and the crop is checked for visual appearance, purity and the presence of weed seeds. It’s this intricate process that guarantees the high standards expected of Irish Certified Seed. 

For more information on the Irish Certified Seed production process, visit our YouTube channel or click here.