Pork DNA tests begin
Bord Bia has started taking samples of pork and bacon products in retail outlets as the agency gears up to incorporate the Identigen pig DNA testing programme into its quality-assurance scheme.
As a result, DNA testing, at a cost of €50 per boar used on-farm, has now become a requirement for all pig farmers participating in the Bord Bia quality-assurance programme.
The IFA, which has spear-headed the initiative, says it hopes to have all of the boars belonging to the 270 pig farmers in Ireland sampled by the end of August. Only then will the organisation be able to start identifying pork or bacon that has not been reared on Irish farms.
Cereals fall in past year
Cereal production fell by 23,000t last year, according to the latest figures from the CSO.
This was mainly due to a 3.7pc decrease in winter wheat tonnages. The fall was driven by the 7pc drop in the area of winter wheat planted.
However, it was a good year for yields in comparison to 2009 with yields of potatoes in particular jumping by 25pc to 34t/ha.
Winter heat yields were up 3.5pc, while spring barley yielded 10pc more last year.