John Dalton appointed President of Irish Seed Trade Association

John Dalton of Daltons (Chancellors Mills), Kilkenny has been appointed as the new President of the Irish Seed Trade Association following a recent AGM. John will serve a two-year term as ISTA President, and takes over from Tom Bryan of Boortmalt in Athy, Co.Kildare.

Managing Director of John Dalton & Sons Ltd, Chancellors Mills for over 25 years, John is a former president of Irish Grain and Feed Association (IGFA) and a current committee member. John is also a board member of the Cereal Association of Ireland.

John is keen to promote the important role of ISTA for the gain of tillage farmers and growers throughout the country. ‘In representing the commercial organisations within the seed industry, we are ensuring that the best varieties and standards are adhered to for the good of Irish tillage farmers. We strongly promote the use of only Certified Seed varieties, as this ensures Irish growers are using the best possible varieties for commercial gain while maintaining the integrity of our Industry’.

Tom Bryan will serve as outgoing Vice-President, along with the new incoming vice-president Jim Gibbons of Germinal Seeds from Horse & Jockey, Co. Tipperary.

Still opportunity to sow Spring Beans

Irish farmers are being advised that there is still time to sow spring Beans due to favourable weather conditions. Described as a financially viable crop, Beans are an excellent low input break crop.

According to John Dalton Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA) vice President, ‘Beans are the ideal break crop for farmers supplying the Gluten free oat market, as they have a direct impact on improving yield and facilitate less contamination in the following oat crop’. Bean growers can also avail of the €250 per hectare coupled protein aid payment introduced for 2015.

Beans favour medium to heavy soil types attributed to their requirement for moisture, however according to Michael Hennessey, Teagasc Crops Specialist, it must be noted that Bean crops sown after mid-March will push harvest date out and the option must be considered against other potential crops.

As with all legumes Beans require no artificial Nitrogen and will leave good nitrogen reserves in the soil for subsequent crops. Scott Lovell of Dairygold stated ‘2014 was an excellent year for protein crops and bean crops sown in late March achieved very good yields’.

A number of agri merchants are still looking to fill bean contracts with potential bean growers in their area and potential growers are being encouraged to contact their local ISTA merchant.

Full story here.
16 March 2015

Impressive new grain facility unveiled to tillage farmers at Bretts of Callan

A large gathering of the region’s top grain growers were in attendance at the premises of ISTA member, Brett Brothers of Callan, Co Kilkenny on February 25th, where they were given a full overview and tour of the recently expanded grain handling facility. The impressive facility follows a major capital investment programme at Bretts mill and grain handling facility in Callan, which has created a large increase in milling capacity and a highly efficient grain drying, treatment and storage complex, all overseen by Liam Brett, Operations Director.

Over 45,000 tonnes of grain from certified seed enters the mill as raw material and the balance goes to Flahavans in Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford for the manufacture of their porridge oats.

Chief agronomist, James Irish, outlined to farmers the agronomy policy implemented at Bretts that is fundamental to producing top quality grain. James stated ‘We manage and support our farmers in all aspects of growing grain from seed to when the combine enters the field. Our emphasis is on cost control while ensuring not to compromise on quality’. James also introduced a new software programme ready for rollout among Bretts tillage farmers. The Gatekeeper programme allows for full traceability and instant crop recommendations while maintaining historic individual farm records and past recommendations.

Managing Director, Jimmy Brett said, “Our philosophy goes beyond selling to our customers; we bring solutions both in nutrition and agronomy”. Making reference to Oakpark Foods, which is another part of the Brett business and processes pork and bacon products, partly sourced from their own Sunglen piggery, further demonstrates the Brett commitment to a complete ‘farm to fork’ ethos. “Our grain growers and the Brett businesses are an integral part of the food chain and our model is to add value from farmers’ grain to milling and to Oakpark products on the supermarket shelves in Ireland and in our export markets,” he said.

Link to Brett Brothers
Pictured at the tillage open day at Brett Brothers, Callan, Co. KIlkenny are James Irish, Bretts, Dick O'Shea, Teagasc Kilkenny, Patrick Sullivan, Inistioge & Michael Roche, Inistioge. Photo O'Gorman Photography.

11 March 2015

Whiskey and oats driving demand for cereals

The prospects for cereal growers are good, with good yields predicted this year, while Irish whiskey sales are growing worldwide and production of oat-based products increasing, according to the Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA).

Tom Bryan, President of ISTA, said that Irish whiskey sales are increasing worldwide and the expansion of the Jameson distillery in Midleton is good news for Irish growers of malting barley as was  the increasing number of Irish craft  breweries. There are now almost 40 craft brewers in Ireland, he said.

Speaking at the annual ISTA open day, Donal Fitzgerald, ISTA Deputy President said that with both Flahavans and Glanbia increasing their processing facilities for food grade oats, there is good market potential in the US and elsewhere. He also pointed out that Connolly’s Red Mills, a major user of equine oats has become the first in the world to secure a licence to import horse feed into mainland China.

Tom said that he expects good cereal yields this autumn, with an increased area sown to winter barley. This crop has been performing well and has replaced continuous winter wheat on many farms, he said. “Cereal crops established well this year and got off to a good start due to the excellent quality of Irish certified seed assembled last harvest.”

He went on to say that with a record number of dairy cows in the country and milk production due to increase significantly, there will be an increased demand for animal feed and cereals. “In addition progressive milk producers are contracting with tillage farmers to grow forage maize, wholecrop silage, fodder beet etc. This makes more economic sense than paying exorbitant prices for renting grazing land.”

By on June 27, 2014

Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA) Open Day

Sunshine and heat greeted the record attendance at the Irish Seed Trade open day on July 10 at the Dept. of Agriculture & Food (DAFM) Ballyderown Farm.

Among the attendance were agro chemical and animal feed suppliers (Brett Bros, Dairygold Coop, Glanbia, Grennans, Red Mills etc), cereal growers, crop consultants, DAFM personnel, food industry (DIAGEO, Flahavans, Glanbia Plc, Odlums etc), Irish Farmers Association representatives, Teagasc specialists, seed suppliers (Germinal, Goldcrop, RAGT Seeds, Seedtech, Syngenta etc) , trade personnel from agribusiness sectors in Britain and Ireland.

Crops on trial with excellent results included winter/spring barley, oats and wheat plus forage maize, oilseed rape and grass/clover varieties. Due to current good weather conditions in Ireland crop quality and yields are expected to be much improved over 2012. If this good weather continues it will also reduce cereal harvesting and grain storage costs which are another bonus.

Photos -No Reproduction Fee by Fergal O’Gorman: Tel: +353.87.2639143. Pictured at the Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA) in conjunction with the Irish Dept of Agriculture cereal trials open day on the Ballyderown Farm, Moorepark, Fermoy are John Metcalfe, Agricultural Consultant, Tullow, Co Carlow, Ciaran Collins, Teagasc, Jim O'Mahony, Teagasc & Josephine Brennan, Department of Agriculture in a crop of spring oats.

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