The Irish Seed Trade Association recently released a video outlining the importance of certified seed inspections.
In one of its latest videos, the Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA) highlights the inspection process involved in the certification of Irish-grown seed.
Irish seed is typically inspected on a number of occasions during the growing season by Department of Agriculture inspectors. These field inspections allow potential issues to be identified earlier and rectified quicker in the season.
The new video is just one in a series of videos produced for ISTA with the support of its members and the Plant Variety Development Office.
Crop inspections pre-harvesting
A number of inspections are carried out throughout the year, the first of which takes place early in the season where field details are checked and plant counts are carried out.
This is then followed by the main inspection which is undertaken when the crop is heading out, where varietal purity and the presence of weeds are checked.
ISTA implements a zero-tolerance standard for problematic weeds such as wild oats, sterile brome, blackgrass and canary grass.
Finally, the Department of Agriculture carries out a pre-harvest inspection where it ensures that the crop has not changed in any way since the main inspection.
Once the crop has passed these inspections, it 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
After harvest, samples of the seed are tested by Department of Agriculture inspectors for the usual parameters such as moisture and KPH. The sample is also is checked for visual appearance, purity and the presence of weed seeds.