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
ISTA Open Day 2019 
The Irish Seed Trade Association’s (ISTA) annual open day will take place on Tuesday 25th June 2019 at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) site in Backweston, Celbridge, Co. Kildare. 
This is a well-attended event each year and visitors will have an opportunity to view the latest trial results from the crop varieties under evaluation; winter and spring barley, oats and wheat plus forage maize, oilseed rape, and grass and clover varieties.  
This annual event brings together representatives from every aspect of cereal production including ISTA members, DAFM personnel, crop consultants, Teagasc tillage specialists, seed suppliers, cereal growers, Irish Farmers Association, agro chemical and animal feed suppliers, food and beverage related industries, feed and grain trade, flour millers, malting industry, agri-media, UCD graduates, and trade personnel from agribusiness sectors in Britain and Ireland.