Growth in Irish food and drink viewed as biggest opportunity for tillage industry

A recent survey of tillage industry advisors, conducted at Seedtech’s Spring Crop Breakfast Briefings, highlighted the view that growth in the Food and Drink industry in Ireland represents a significant opportunity for the tillage sector going forward.

With Irish food and drink production expanding rapidly and “brand Ireland” continuing to grow on an international scale, opportunities are ripe for the tillage industry to supply quality, traceable raw materials to producers in this sector.

Over 50% of those involved in the survey, which included merchants and consultants, shared this view.

Unsurprisingly, in excess of 80% responding saw grain prices as the biggest challenge currently facing the industry.

However, Seedtech believes this can be offset by diversifying with new solutions, such as providing value-add products to the growing food and drink industry.

Tim O'Donovan, Seedtech and Donal Dilworth, Crop Plant Trials
Tim O’Donovan, Seedtech and Donal Dilworth, Crop Plant Trials

Speaking at the event, Tim O’Donovan, Seedtech Technical Director stated:

Looking at new opportunities is vital for the long-term viability of the tillage sector in Ireland.

“Seedtech’s focus in achieving this is to support the industry with sustainable and profitable technologies, along with tapping into the opportunities that exist around the growing demand in Irish food and drink, such as varieties for the malt industry,” he said.

Nigel Whyte, Commercial Director at Seedtech, also supported the view that Irish produced grain for Irish feed will result in a more sustainable industry and a fully traceable food chain.

“Spring Barley’s such as KWS Irina and Mickle have been trialled, tested and grown in Ireland.

Our varieties, including Irina and Mickle, help farmers manage risk and improve profitability through a combination of yield, straw strength and strong disease resistance.

“Seedtech continues to invest in providing the best home grown product to the Irish Tillage market and our ongoing investment in new technologies is a testament to this,” he said.

Seedtech’s bi-annual Breakfast Briefings were attended by a broad range of merchants, consultants and Teagasc advisors.