Cereals 2010: New oat development

Visitors to the Just Oats and Senova stand at were treated to an early glimpse of a new type of oat.

The not naked and not husked oat was a cross between high-yielding husked oats which were used for human consumption and lower yielding oil-rich naked oats which were used for livestock feed, said Athole Marshall, head of oat breeding at Aberystwyth University.

“We are working to combine the low lignin and high oil content of our naked varieties into our higher-yielding husked varieties – the aim is to get yield and oil content as high as possible.”

This would produce a high yielding and more competitive oat suitable for livestock feed. “There is also good evidence lower fibre content in the oats will reduce cows’ methane output and benefit the environment.”

Shorter and stiffer straw to reduce lodging risk and plant growth regulator dependency were additional project aims. Commercially available seed was likely to be five years away from market, he said.