Sask researchers look to ease harvestability of oats

By Teena Monteleone
January 10, 2018 - 2:00pm

crop related research project will look at how to better manage the production of oats in Saskatchewan.

Northeast Agriculture Research Foundation (NARF), located at Melfort, received $80,255 in funding from the province’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF) for the three-year study that will start this spring. Western Saskatchewan Oat Development Commission and Saskatchewan Oat Development Commission are also dedicating a combined $110,255 to the project.

Research manager Jessica Pratchler said specifically she will look at not just relying on fungicides for disease control in oats.

“Sometimes when you apply fungicides on oats, it prevents them from maturing properly,” Pratchler said. “It keeps them green too long and with oats being a late maturing crop already…it can significantly delay harvest. So, if we can manipulate different agronomic principles to help control disease, in addition to fungicides or without fungicides, we can potentially ease the harvestability of oats.”

Pratchler said the research will be done in multiple locations across the province to track soil and climate interaction or ‘different diseases in different places.’ She is hopeful the research will lead to better yields so producers can do better economically in what she calls a great region for growing oats.

“Wheat doesn’t seem to do well profit-wise in the northeast, but if we intensively manage our oats we can keep them as part of the cereal rotation rather than relying on wheat which may not be as economical,” she said.

The NARF project is one of 30 crop-related research projects the province has invested $7.7 million dollars in through ADF. On Wednesday, the federal and provincial governments also announced a commitment of $6.25 million in operating funds through the ADF to the Crop Development Centre (CDC) at the University of Saskatchewan over five years.

“Investing in innovative, crop-related projects and supporting research organizations like the CDC not only provides Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers with the very latest in research and development, but also allows our province to be competitive on the world stage and helps attract some of the best researchers in the industry,” Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said in a new release.

Among the 30 research projects, topics include increasing the use of faba beans in pet food and fish feed to create another value-added use for a Saskatchewan pulse crop; better control of root rot in pea and lentils crops; and research to develop more clubroot resistant canola varieties.


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On Twitter: @TeenaMonteleone

Radisson farmer elected Chair of Sask Wheat

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