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Development & selection of oat germplasm and genetic stocks leading to varieties for milling, feed and new markets - AR0705

The UK oat crop is worth around £50m annually to growers and £130m to industry in present applications. Oats for human consumption for both domestic and export use have increased over the last decade from 30% to 50% of production, while use for on-farm feeding has declined from 65% to 30% of production. Oats provide farmers with an economic alternative, low input cereal, valued as a break crop and in organic rotations. Naked oats, in particular, have potential as poultry (e.g. AFENO project) or other livestock feed.

The varieties now available to UK farmers and processors are the result of genetic improvement (funded by MAFF), field trialling (HGCA) and advancement of improved varieties (Semundo). IGER derived varieties, (Gerald, Millennium etc), have been higher yielding, easier to grow than their predecessors or more acceptable for specific markets e.g. milling.

Plant breeding is a long-term process. In a small sector such as oats, breeding companies are able to conduct performance trials of promising lines but cannot support extensive R&D. Future improvements in varieties will be needed to sustain and expand present UK markets in the face of competition from imported oats. HGCA and MAFF together have a role in transferring potential genetic improvements to breeding interests, so enabling farmers and end-users to benefit from completed collaborative and ongoing MAFF work. In doing so, liaison with the various industrial sectors will be maintained to satisfy their requirements for human food, livestock feed and new industrial markets.
1. Development of oat germplasm leading to varieties of naked oats for poultry feed.

2. Development of germplasm and screening of useful traits for potential new varieties of husked oats for sustainable farming systems and food supply, including human consumption and on-farm feed for animals.

3. Investigation of oat germplasm leading to varieties with new properties for possible new food and industrial markets.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Development & selection of oat germplasm and genetic stocks leading to varieties for milling, feed and new markets   (113k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2004

Cost: £328,369
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Institute of Grassland and Environment Research (IGER)
Arable Farming              
Cereal Production              
Crop Improvement              
Fields of Study
Arable Crops