Unleashing the potential of crops of wheat to deliver yields in the range of 20 to 23 tonnes per hectare, was one of the key themes discussed at the recent Crops Science Seminar, hosted by Alltech at its European Headquarters, near Dunboyne in Co. Meath.

The event was used as a backdrop to profile the company’s new Crop Science Division, headed up by Dr Tim Sheil, and Alltech’s commitment to develop a dedicated crops research centre at Dunboyne, which will include an extensive field trials’ site. Work is already underway in terms of assessing a number of winter wheat and barley trials. The crops will be harvested over the coming weeks.

It is envisaged that the various technologies developed by Alltech – across its entire spectrum of animal and crops-related interests – will allow the business to grow its global turnover from the current level of US$1 billion to US$4 billion over the next few years.

Kevin Tuck, Managing Director of Alltech’s European Headquarters at Dunboyne, confirmed that research and development will remain core competencies within the company, which has manufacturing facilities and sales offices in countries around the world. “Allltech is all about innovation, which can be used to provide solutions for farmers as they strive to deliver improved efficiencies within their businesses. Crops Science is the latest division to be added within the remit of the research programmes, carried on at Dunboyne.

“Current research projects are looking at both yield and crop quality improvements. The land available at Dunboyne will, increasingly, be used for crop-related development work. This will be carried out in tandem with other centres of crop research in Ireland and internationally.”

Alltech agronomist Tim Sheil outlined the research and development priorities for the company’s in-house crops’ research projected. These are: soil nutrient availability, plant nutrition and disease prevention.

“The top 10cm of soil contain tonnes of nutrients which can be made unavailable to plants. Making greater use of soil organic matter is crucially important in this regard.”