Plant breeding for oat improvement has resulted in today’s successful oat varieties which have economic importance on the farm.
From the pressures of farm mechanization, oat varieties stand with more strength and yield more than oats in decades past. The resulting high quality grain that is delivered passes on economic success from the farm to the end users.
The changing realities of climate, farm systems, oat milling operations and consumer wants and needs keeps up the pressure to improve the oat crop. Routinely, one hears of oats yielding 150 toward 200 bushels per acre in the best oat growing situations. The standard 34lb/bu oat is a target long left behind as physical grain quality continues to rise. The intrinsic nutrition of oats has also, through traditional plant breeding acting on available variation, gained ground with the accumulation of desirable health factors in the grain.
Along with the oat breeding “upgrades’, oat agronomy has become a key partner in this success of oats and continues to build momentum for outstanding results. Now, instead of the crop last thought of, keen oat growers are putting new products and techniques to the test with the goal of superior oat production. Many products developed for higher valued crops are being tried on oats such as:
- Cereal innoculants
- Slow release and inhibited nitrogen fertilizer
- Plant growth regulators for shortening stems
- Foliar applied crop nutrition
- Foliar applied biostimulants
Variety specific agronomy has enter the arena of crop production around the world and it is a welcomed direction The future of oat production will excel with these modern initiatives.