Growers should take time to select a variety to grow. The first characteristic of a variety that should be considered is the market or end-use that a grower will wish to market his production into. There are 4 major markets that a producer has in western Canada. These are:
- Milling oat market (human consumption)
- Racehorse market (pony oats)
- The feed oats market
- Forage oats market (greenfeed or silage)
Each of these markets have specific characteristics and preferences. Growers should be aware of these requirements and grow a variety that is capable of growing production for the specific market.
Growers should use all information sources available. Cereal crops have a very good testing system. This information is available in factsheets produced annually by provincial government agencies.
Growers may wish to select two or three of the best available varieties. It is always good management to spread the risk. Selecting different varieties may reduce disease potential and risk of environmental impact such as lodging or heat blast and may spreads the harvest workload.
Compare varieties for potential yield, standability, disease tolerance and all other agronomic factors. Understand the main problems of your farm and select varieties accordingly.
Select varieties based on the needs of your own growing conditions.
Use long-term data over many locations when comparing variety performance. Often, varieties that are outstanding under one set of environmental conditions one year suffer considerably under the next year\'s environmental conditions. For example, an oat variety that excels in a year without rust pressure may be the worst performer the year rust hits early. Using long-term, multi-site data will lead to the selection of the best, yield-stable varieties.
View provincial varietal comparisons: