ISTA promoting excellence seminars 2018

Pictured at the Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA) Promoting Excellence seminar in Clonmel, Co Tipperary are Eleanor O'Gorman, DAFM; Tim Looby, McDonnell Bros, Fermoy; Frank Hayes, Dairygold and Liz Hyland, DAFM. (Photo: O'Gorman Photography)

The Irish Seed Trade Association’s (ISTA) 2018 Promoting Excellence Seminars were held in three locations around the county last week.

The seminars attracted over 140 representatives at each event from every aspect of cereal production including crop consultants, Department of Agriculture personnel, Teagasc tillage specialists, seed suppliers, cereal growers, agro chemical and animal feed suppliers and the malting industry.

Speaking at the seminars, Clodagh Whelan from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine gave attendees a valuable insight into crop and variety options for 2018 sowings as well as highlighting the importance of the Dept of Agriculture trialling and evaluation system and advantages of certified seed testing, ‘it’s so important when choosing a variety to consider a variety from the Irish Recommended List that has undergone intensive trialling under our unique Irish growing conditions.’

Andy Doyle, Tillage Editor at the Irish Farmers Journal presented best practices for maximising crop potential and emphasised ‘margins are small, therefore costs need to be tightly managed. Farmers should focus on putting the power in the ground, getting their land in better order to ensure crop and yield protection.’

In addition, ISTA members Donal Fitzgerald and Tim O’Donovan discussed the topic of certified seed standards, and how the certification scheme is helping to deliver new varieties.

ISTA President, Jim Gibbons closed proceedings by reiterating the importance of certified seed to Irish growers and the tillage industry.

Jim said ‘Ireland has one of the most robust certification systems in Europe, if not the world and is run by the Dept of Agriculture. The Irish Seed Trade Association is committed to ensuring this scheme continues to produce new and leading varieties, suitable for Irish growers and Irish growing conditions’.