Agriculture - Combinable Crops, Grass Seeds, Maize & Fodder Crops, Agri Chemicals

Teagasc Forage Breeding Program Supported by Goldcrop

Posted: 09 Sep 2016

Goldcrop are responsible for the commercial seed propagation, marketing and wholesale distribution of all new Teagasc bred cultivars in Ireland and Internationally. Pat Conaghan and his Forage Breeding team in Teagasc Oakpark work tirelessly to create top grass and clover varieties for Irish and International Farmers. Recent successful breeding is clear with one-third of the Irish Recommended list 2016 Perennial Ryegrass varieties and almost half the white clover varieties bred by Teagasc. It’s no surprise that many Teagasc bred varieties appear on the UK recommended lists.

At the start of the video, you can see the production of grass seed of new variety lines. Each new variety is sown in individual plots in a field of Oats. The Oats prevents the wind blowing grass pollen between different varieties. In this field there are literally hundreds of plots. The small plots are for the production of seed for variety testing in Oakpark. The larger plots are finished varieties. This seed will go for recommended list testing and for the production of commercial seed. Clover seed is produced by a different method. Because bees are needed to pollinate clover, polytunnels are used to control the spread of bees between varieties. At the end of the video you will see the Forage Breeding Team sowing plots of the newly created varieties and comparing them to the current market leaders to see if they have found a new top variety. Each May the team sow’s over a thousand plots of grass. The year of sowing is an establishment year. Yield is recorded in the following 2 years to find the top performers. This means that there are thousands of plots in the ground at any one time in Teagasc Oakpark. What an achievement!

The process of getting a new variety to market takes a lot of work. Its takes years to breed a new variety, and another 6 years to test it before only the best are added to the Irish recommended list conducted by the Department of Agriculture. We want everyone to see the care, attention, science, financial and physical investment that is currently going into Goldcorp’s next generation of grass and clover varieties at Teagasc Oakpark. Teagasc Oakpark are currently developing genotypic selection methods to aid in the breeding of new top varieties. We can’t wait to see the results!!!

Goldcrop Team