“Typically, plant breeding contributes 1.0 – 1.5% yield improvement per annum”

Crop/Year19992016Diffrence
Winter Barley8.2010.30+ 2.10 (25%)
Winter Wheat9.5612.10+ 2.54 (26%)
Spring Barley6.708.50+ 1.80 (27%)

Certified Seed is a fully traceable product that is part of a world-wide quality assurance system that certifies that the bag or sack of seed contains what it states on the label and meets certain minimum quality standards, thus giving the end user the highest possible degree of confidence in the seed product being purchased at all times. Certified Seed is the cornerstone of many farming operations and various food and beverage industries. Irish Certified Seed is produced to the highest standards, providing growers with a guaranteed standard of varietal purity, germination, and phyto-sanitary status.

Certified Cereal Seed

The certification scheme for cereal seeds involves plant breeders and their agents, grain merchants and seed assemblers, DAFM, and hundreds of Irish cereal growers who annually produce in excess of 40,000 tonnes of seed grain for the native market. Varieties that successfully make it through Value for Cultivation & Use (VCU) testing in Irish national trials are selected for multiplication by the breeders/seed agents, with the best varieties gaining approval on our Recommended Lists.

All fields growing certified seed are rigorously inspected by DAFF officials prior to harvest. After harvest, all seed lots and individual varieties are kept separate and closely monitored at the seed intake points. Each seed lot is carefully dried, stored and sampled for disease, purity, and germinative capacity. Only seeds that meet the minimum EU standards are certified and approved for sale.
It is illegal to trade uncertified seed of any species under EU and Irish law.

Plant Breeding – the key to our future

Genetic improvement and the consequential productivity benefits are key components of the continuous enhancement and competitiveness of the Irish farming industry. This statement applies to all agri- sectors, including cereal growing. In the same way that technology has evolved in every other enterprise globally, so too have plant breeding techniques. Key characteristics such as yield (see Table 1), lodging resistance, plant health, and overall grain quality have improved significantly in recent decades – a recent NIAB/BSPB commissioned study found that almost 90% of the increase in average cereal yields over the past 25 years can be attributed to innovations in plant breeding.

Typically, plant breeding contributes 1.0 – 1.5% yield improvement per annum
The plant breeding process is very expensive and time consuming and has to be continually funded to ensure viability. Therefore, each variety introduced to the market is ‘patent protected’ by Plant Breeders Rights (a form of intellectual property rights) which ensures a return on investment to the parent breeding company. Certified seed is the principal mechanism by which royalty income is returned to the plant breeders to fund their continued investment in new variety development.

Farm Saved Seed

Farm Saved Seed (FSS) is legally defined as seed planted on a farmers own holding using material harvested on his own holding. The regulation of FSS in Ireland is governed under SI No. 193/2000.
All FSS must pay royalty at the rate of 50% of the sum charged for licensed certified production. FSS is not produced to the same standards, has no guarantee of germination or disease status, and has no come- back in the event of establishment issues. It is illegal to sell FSS.

Payment of FSS Royalties

Farm Saved Seed (FSS) royalties must be declared to the Plant Variety Development Office (PVDO) in Dublin. For further information, please see the website www.pvdo.ie