The road to Irish Certified Seed - Crop Inspections

Irish Certified Seed provides growers with a guaranteed standard of varietal purity, germination, and phyto-sanitary status. Crop inspections play a vital role in ensuring that Irish Certified Seed is produced to the highest standards.

Irish seed is inspected on a number of occasions during its growing season by Department of Agriculture inspectors. These field inspections allows potential issues to be identified earlier and rectified quicker in the season. Additionally, it gives Irish farmers peace of mind that purchased certified seed has been produced to an excellent quality and purity standard.

Crop Inspections – Pre Harvesting

The first inspection is carried out early in the season, where field details are checked and plant counts are carried out.

The main inspection is undertaken when the crop is heading out. This inspection determines if the variety is true to type and that the crop is free of weeds. ISTA implement a zero-tolerance standard for problematic weeds like Wild Oats, Sterile Brome, Blackgrass and Canary Grass.

Department of Agriculture inpsectors also carry out a pre-harvest inspection where they ensure that the crop has not changed in any way since the main inspection. Having passed these field inspections, the seed is passed to an assembly point for further inspections and analysis to ensure that there is proper segregation of seed varieties.

Crop Inspections - Post Harvesting

Post harvesting, samples of dried seed are tested by Department of Agriculture inspectors. The usual parameters of moisture and KPH are monitored, and the crop is checked for visual appearance, purity and the presence of weed seeds. It’s this intricate process that guarantees the high standards expected of Irish Certified Seed.

For more information on certified seed production, visit our YouTube channel here