Spring naked oat contracts are available for farmers in the East Midlands who are looking to increase their spring cropping area and widen rotations.
Lincolnshire-based seed and grain specialist Cope Seeds is looking for growers of naked oats to meet increased market demand, offering high premiums of up to £45/t over feed wheat.
The company’s seeds director, Gemma Clarke, said long-term contracts for the varieties Patrik and Oliver are on offer for growers within a 50-mile radius from the Lincolnshire town of Sleaford.
“Excellent buyback contracts are available to anyone purchasing Oliver and Patrik, with attractive premiums and flexible movement options from harvest onwards, with higher premiums for those willing to store for longer,” she said.
“To avoid quality loss such as rancidity, naked oats must be dried immediately after harvest to at least 14% moisture content. For longer-term storage, a moisture level of 12% is required.”
The varieties available would suit low-intensity farming, as their growth habit is extremely competitive, she added.
Naked oats differ from conventional oats, as they naturally thresh free from the husk during harvest and are energy rich, with a 9% oil content. They also have a higher protein content (13%) compared with conventional oats.
The spring crop offers effective blackgrass management, as it provides a long, stale seed-bed.
It also acts as a true cereal break crop, with greater tolerance to adverse conditions than other cereals as it shares similar agronomic practices to husked oats.
Naked oats are used for human consumption in health foods and cosmetics. They are also sold for pet, poultry- and horse feed.