Seed variety development now depends on payment of royalties
Crops are looking very promising at present and are generally disease free. The latter is largely due to a combination of low disease pressure and good timing of fungicide usage.
However, following the change in weather, septoria levels are rising on some wheat crops. Three to four years ago we were being advised that the future for wheat growing in Ireland was bleak, given the development of disease resistance.
Low disease pressure last year and so far this year has given renewed confidence, but we must continue cautiously with a well planned fungicide programme using differing modes of action and appropriate tank or pre-formulated mixes.
We also need varieties with improved disease resistance with greater emphasis on their performance in trials without fungicide use or with very limited fungicide use.
Farmers who use home-saved seed are required to pay royalties.
If you used a processor (must be on the approved register) to dress seed for you he will have returned your details to the Plant Variety Development Office (PVDO) and you will receive an invoice for royalties.
If you used your own seed you are obliged to advise the PVDO (www.pvdo.ie) of the variety and tonnage for invoicing.
The future of variety development lies with the payment of royalties - if you don't pay, seed companies will not continue to fund breeding programmes. The fact that we cannot use GM technology to produce varieties is putting us at a disadvantage versus non-EU countries that do not have that restriction.