Information from our January Seminars - Securing Future Standard & Supply for Arable Farming

Thank you to all who attended our 2023 Seminars  ‘The Irish Seed Trade Association - Securing Future Standard & Supply for Arable Farming’ over three days last week. 

 The morning opened with a look at the current markets, the threats and opportunities in the sector presented by Market Consultant Padraig Brennan. We welcomed John Mahon of Teagasc to develop our skills and knowledge in identifying and managing grass weeds, with a focus on Black Grass. The Department of Agriculture Seed Division reminded us of the seed standards and ISTA further explained the protocols under which its members certify and explain new measures the assemblers are introducing to deal with current challenges. The session finished with a panel discussion featuring a range of guest speakers chaired by Andy Doyle of The Irish Farmers Journal.

Check out what you missed or re-cap with our short video. You can also review some of the slides from the seminars, with detailed pictures on weeds and standards. 

Identify Grass Weeds Slides

Learn more on Grass Weeds Slides

January Seminars - Securing Future Standard & Supply for Arable Farming

We are delighted to invite you to our 2023 Seminars  ‘The Irish Seed Trade Association - Securing Future Standard & Supply for Arable Farming’

 

Tuesday 10th January – Talbot Hotel Clonmel

Wednesday 11th January –  Mount Wolseley, Tullow

Thursday 12th January – Knightsbrook Resort, Trim

They will run from 10:30-2:30 including lunch.

The morning will open with a look at the current markets, the threats and opportunities in the sector presented by Market Consultant Padraig Brennan. We will welcome John Mahon of Teagasc to develop our skills and knowledge in identifying and managing grass weeds, with a focus on Black Grass. The Department of Agriculture Seed Division will remind us of the seed standards and ISTA will further explain protocols under which its members certify and explain new measures the assemblers are introducing to deal with current challenges. The session will finish with a panel discussion featuring a range of guest speakers chaired by Andy Doyle of The Irish Farmers Journal.

Advance Registration for the purposes of gauging attendance would be appreciated by completing this form or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 01-5414445. 

Research Bursary - Call for Applications

The Irish Seed Trade Association is committed to the future of the Irish Tillage industry, the demand for native crops and supplying the highest quality certified seed to its customers.

We are re-opening ing an exciting opportunity for those committed to research and development in the sector. The bursary will support research and development work which will have a significant positive impact on the Irish tillage industry. It is open to applicants who will be supervised and supported by an organisation in their work and with whom a contract for delivery of the research will be agreed. The association is open to a project, report or postgraduate research (2 years masters ).

In the case of a Masters the bursary will be valued at €10,000 per year plus fees. Once off projects / report applications can apply for a maximum for €18,000 to be completed within an eighteen month period. Applications will be assessed on the potential value to the Irish Tillage Industry, relevance to the work of ISTA, value for investment and the capacity of the applicant to deliver.

ISTA is open to applications in excess of the budgeted bursary, where another funding source, to be agreed with the association, is available to fund the balance.

Applicants should down load and complete the following application form (click here) and submit to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on or before the 24th June 2022.

Applicants may be shortlisted and be invited to meet ISTA to discuss the proposed research. Awards will be made at latest 15th July 2022 and research must commence within 6 months of that date. Calls for future projects will be made every 2-4 years depending on budget availability.

Enquiries to Brigid Quigley on 086-0822038 or by email <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Brendan Reilly of Drummonds takes over as President of the Irish Seed Trade Association

Brendan Reilly was recently appointed as the new President of the Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA). Brendan will serve a two-year term as ISTA President, and takes over from Phil Meaney of Glanbia.

Brendan is manager of the seed assembley and processing business with Drummonds, based in their Drogheda site. He is passionate about certified seed and a demand for Irish tillage crops. Brendan also serves as part of Tillage Industry Ireland. 

The Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA) represents multipliers, producers and distributors of certified seed in Ireland and its role is to promote the use of certified seed in tillage, forage and grassland crops. This is to ensure the best varieties of seed are made available to Irish farmers.

During his term as President of ISTA, Brendan is keen to represent, inform and lobby on behalf of ISTA members about seed related issues, and to promote the use and benefits of certified seed.

Outgoing President Phil Meaney will serve as one of two Vice-Presidents, along with the incoming Vice-President Tim O'Donovan, technical director at Seed Technology Ltd, based in Waterford. 

The Road to Certified Seed - Processing

When harvesting is complete, acceptable seed is then prepared for bagging and certification. During processing, seed is cleaned of weed seeds, small grains, and screenings. Appropriate chemical dressings are applied using state of the art technology and equipment.

Seed is weighed and packed under Department of Agriculture supervision, prior to application of a Department of Agriculture label. A sample of each seed lot is tested, with a final seed lot test report issued by the Department of Agriculture. Certified Blue Label seed is ready for delivery to Irish farmers. A sample of each seed lot is sown in ‘post-control’ plots at Backweston, Leixlip, Co. Kildare.

Certified sales are reported to the Plant Variety Development Office (PVDO), with royalties paid to plant breeders to help ensure breeders continue to bring new and improved varieties to the market.

The processing stage is one of the many elements of the certification process which guarantees the grain buyer with consistent quality. 

The benefits of using Certified Seed

  1. Guaranteed germination
  2. Consistent quality
  3. Reduced seeding rates
  4. Guaranteed varietal purity
  5. Fully traceable
  6. Independently monitored
  7. Reduced risk of seed borne diseases
  8. Continued cereal genetic improvement

 

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. 

Harvesting 

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.

Intake

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.

Variety choice and sowing date are fundamental to combatting disease control

 

 

 

The Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA) and Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) hosted their 2019 annual crop variety trials open day at the DAFM crop evaluation centre at Backweston Farm, Celbridge, Co. Kildare.

This year, there are 352 crop varieties completing their evaluation period on 22 different farms and at 4 department test centres in Ballyderown, Co. Cork; Kildalton, Co. Kilkenny; Backweston Co. Kildare; and Raphoe Co. Donegal.

Angela Ryan, Assistant Agricultural Inspector (AAI) at Backweston Farm, stated that although crops were sown in better weather conditions this season, disease pressure is problematic with a high risk of yellow rust, septoria and BYDV across all of their evaluation sites. As many know, septoria is a disease which critically affects wheat, and with the loss of chlorothalonil next season, growers are now questioning how to combat this problem effectively.

ISTA President, Phil Meaney highlighted the importance and value of the trial work being undertaken on various sites around the country by the Department of Agriculture. Phil stated that now more than ever, with the challenges of disease control facing growers, variety choice and sowing date are fundamental to combatting these issues.

Key parameters measured throughout the trials include crop yield, disease resistance, and grain quality with the best new varieties then added to the Recommended List and seed of same is propagated and brought to market for commercial use by Irish growers. In addition, quality tests are carried out to help identify the most suitable varieties for use such as malting barley, milling wheat or food-grade oats, all of which is vitally important to Ireland’s valuable food and drinks sector. Untreated plots, although not a new aspect of the trials, provide an essential test of a variety, which attendees at the open day could view in detail.  

Additional information:

In 2019, DAFM are evaluating 182 cereal varieties, 103 grass and clover varieties, 25 winter oilseed rape varieties, 20 forage maize varieties, 11 potato varieties and 11 spring bean varieties.

The Irish Seed Trade Association represents multipliers, producers and distributors of certified seed in Ireland and promotes the use of certified seed in tillage, forage and grassland crops to ensure the best varieties of seed are made available to Irish farmers.

The road to Irish Certified Seed - Variety Trialling

New varieties are submitted on an annual basis to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) for agronomic evaluation, known as VCU (Value for Cultivation and Use) testing.  
The work undertaken by the DAFM is to ensure that new varieties are fit for purpose under Irish conditions and will stand up to unique disease challenges. The trials are carried out at on various sites across the country including: Backweston Farm; Ballyderowan Farm; Kildalton Agricultural College and also on 25 commercial farms. 
Varieties are tested for characteristics such as crop yield, disease resistance and grain quality. Additionally, quality tests are undertaken to help identify the most suitable varieties for use as malting barley, milling wheat or food-grade oats – all of which are crucial to Ireland’s valuable food and drinks sector. Varieties that do not make the cut against the control varieties will not make the Recommended List and will be discontinued. 
Having completed this VCU process successfully over a three-year period, the best new varieties are then added to the Recommended List. Seeds of these varieties are propagated and brought to market for commercial use by Irish growers.
For more information, check out our Variety Trialling video here
 
 
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