The road to Irish Certified Seed - Variety Trialling

New varieties are submitted on an annual basis to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) for agronomic evaluation, known as VCU (Value for Cultivation and Use) testing.  
The work undertaken by the DAFM is to ensure that new varieties are fit for purpose under Irish conditions and will stand up to unique disease challenges. The trials are carried out at on various sites across the country including: Backweston Farm; Ballyderowan Farm; Kildalton Agricultural College and also on 25 commercial farms. 
Varieties are tested for characteristics such as crop yield, disease resistance and grain quality. Additionally, quality tests are undertaken to help identify the most suitable varieties for use as malting barley, milling wheat or food-grade oats – all of which are crucial to Ireland’s valuable food and drinks sector. Varieties that do not make the cut against the control varieties will not make the Recommended List and will be discontinued. 
Having completed this VCU process successfully over a three-year period, the best new varieties are then added to the Recommended List. Seeds of these varieties are propagated and brought to market for commercial use by Irish growers.
For more information, check out our Variety Trialling video here