More crop success for scientists
05 March 2010
Award-winning Institute maintains lead in developing new crop
Scientists at Aberystwyth University are once again leading the way in developing new varieties of one of the UK’s most important crops. And they’ve even beaten the Tardis in the process!
The University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) has had two new winter oat varieties placed on the definitive crop list recommended by the Home Grown Cereals Authority, the body that promotes the production, wholesomeness and marketing of UK grain.
There is increasing awareness of the value of oats both for human consumption and as a high value animal feed. Both varieties build on decades of success at IBERS and provide farmers, millers and feed compounders with oats that are more productive, resilient and easier to grow.
“We are delighted to see our work once again being recognised in this most authoritative list of crops,” said IBERS Director, Professor Wayne Powell.
“Even more important is that these new oat varieties will help make UK farmers more profitable and will benefit the environment.”
Winter oats developed at IBERS now account for 70% of the UK’s £2 million-a-year market in oat seeds. One variety, called Gerald, is the market leader, accounting for 45% of the total crop of winter oats.
This year, IBERS’ new varieties are the only winter oats to be added to the Recommended List. They join a long roll call of successful oat varieties from the innovative IBERS oat breeding programme that are marketed by Senova Ltd.
- Balado is a conventional husked variety of oat that offers a bumper crop for farmers – 5% more even than IBERS’ other well known winter oat, Tardis.
- Fusion has no husk and is called a ‘naked oat’. Aimed mainly at farm animals– it is a great energy source, particularly for poultry.
The Institute’s scientists were praised for successfully combining fundamental research on plant genetics with plant breeding techniques to develop commercially viable plant varieties that help meet the challenges of food, water and energy security, and environmental sustainability.“We are very pleased to see two more of our oat varieties being included on the recommended list,” said one of the research team, Athole Marshall. “We are continuing with the outstanding success of IBERS and its predecessors over more than 90 years.”
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ContactsDr Athole Marshall
Tel: 01970 823171