b'GIANT VIEWSBY: ROY POWERFOR THE IRISH SEED AND AGRICULTURE SECTOR, THERES NO UPSIDE TO BREXITthe EU and have EU DUS. For cereals,is often done at the same time in the Irish farmers prefer to source their varie- UK, as well as in Ireland. Post-Brexit ties off the Irish national list and interest- this is no longer likely to happen, and ing varieties undergo testing in Irelandit is expected there could be a delay of itself. For minor crops, such as foragetwo years before some varieties become kale or turnips, it is a different story asavailable to Irish farmers.there are no Irish trials, these varietiesThe Irish Seed Trade Association were often tested and listed through thehas put in place several measures to UK, and for Irish farmers it was untilmitigate the impact of Brexit. With the now fairly easy to source their varietieshelp of ESA and the BSPB, we have from the EU Common Catalogue, viaidentified all varieties which are cur-UK listing. Post-Brexit, this means thatrently marketed in Ireland, and which such varieties will first need to be listedmay run into one of the challenges men-in Ireland or elsewhere in the EU beforetioned above. All key stakeholders to the they can be commercialized.particular challenge(s) have been well Another challenge is the mainte- informed, and we hope there will be no nance of varieties. In the EU, all regis- big casualties. Longer term, we fear less tered varieties must be maintained invarieties will be tested and make it to the EU with regular official maintenancemarket which means Irish farmers wont Roy Power controls. A small problem is that it is nothave access to the best plant varieties. clearly defined what maintenance exactlyYields may not see the steady increase is. One could take a rather strict inter- as we have seen til now, and with less F or the Irish seed and agriculturepretation with official control of mainte- resistances, crop protection may pose sector, Brexit poses several chal- nance breeding etc, or one could take aanother challenge.lenges. Ireland has about 300,000more pragmatic approach, where mainte- Besides plant breeding, listing and hectares of cereals, but the country doesnance control is an official control on themaintenance, another challenge lies in not have its own cereal breeding program.production of stock seed. In the run-upthe enforcement of intellectual property Therefore, to supply its farmers withto Brexit, Ireland is taking a practicalrights. Post-Brexit it will no longer be high quality cereal varieties, the countryapproach to maintenance. possible to enforce any rights on varieties entirely depends on any breeding activ- In a similar way, each variety thatthat are not listed in the EU, e.g. varie-ities and new varieties from other EUis registered in the EU will need to haveties listed only in the UK. Imagine a sce-countries. In terms of climate, with itsa DUS report. Post-Brexit, with no facil- nario, where a variety destined for the UK mild winters, it is clear that varieties thatities in Ireland to carryout DUS reportsmarket, is performing well in Northern were bred and perform well in the UK,on cereals and most other crops, a validIreland, and a bit less in Ireland itself. will most likely also do well in Ireland.DUS report will need to be bought fromThe UK breeder is then likely to apply for There is much less of such a climatologi- an EU authority, and this can no longernational listing only in the UK. However, cal equivalence with varieties from otherbe from the UK. The challenge lies inin such a situation, we may see that Irish EU countries.the additional costs this will incur. Oncefarmers would still like to grow this Until now, breeders send theirBrexit is a fact, for all the cereal varie- variety and seeds get traded across the pre-commercial varieties to Irelandties from the UK there will be additionalborder. So, our advice to the UK breeders for testing, and based on those results,costs for organizing an EU DUS report,would be to also register such a variety in decide which varieties would performnational listing and maintenance breed- the EU. This will enable them to enforce best here, in the majority piggy backinging. The concern in Ireland is that Brexittheir rights in Ireland. We realize this is a on UK DUS and UK maintenance. Post- will slow down the amount of varietieschallenge for the UK breeders, but theres Brexit this will all change as all varietiescoming to Ireland, and the delay withvery little else that the Irish seed trade commercialised in Ireland (EU) will needwhich varieties will be available in ourcan do to prevent such infringement from to be listed in the EU, be maintained incountry. At the moment, variety testinghappening.54IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'