Farm Ireland

Tuesday 20 March 2018

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.

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Oilseed rape (OSR) bucked this trend with a yield decrease of 5pc. However, the area of OSR sown surged by 26pc.

Overall, wheat, oats and barley output fell by just over 1pc.

Artist Brigid on show

Artist Brigid Shelly, well-known for her brightly coloured paintings of cows and agricultural scenes, is currently exhibiting at the Courtyard Gallery in Midelton, Co Cork.

Featured in the Farming Independent and on RTE programmes Ear to the Ground and Arena, Brigid's work has been bought by Dairygold, the Department of Agriculture, Bothar, Cork Marts, Teagasc and Glanbia, among many others.

Indo Farming