The Opti-Oat project

Oats are an important crop in the UK – even more so due to their increasing popularity as a healthy breakfast choice. Yet unlike other staple cereal crops, such as wheat and barley, R&D investment to improve oat agronomy has been limited. Research by ADAS has indicated that in the UK there is a yield gap between average farm yield and optimal yields.

To meet this demand, and to ensure a sustainable pipeline of high quality oats, a consortium of leading industry partners (PepsiCo, Environment Systems Ltd, James Hutton Ltd), academic partners (NIAB, Aberystwyth University, James Hutton Institute) and a major sub-contractor (ADAS), came together to form the Opti-Oat project (Innovate UK project 102128). Under the leadership of PepsiCo and with co-funding from Innovate UK and BBSRC, this project has collected more than one million data points over four experimental seasons (harvests 2014 – 2017) from reference trials and commercial oat crops in England, Scotland and Wales to develop the first UK Oat Growth Guide for growers and agronomists.

Quaker Oat Growth Guide

The Quaker Oat Growth Guide is designed to increase understanding of winter and spring oats through crop growth and development benchmarks with the aim of improving yield and quality to deliver a sustainable supply of high quality oats and maximise grower returns.

An electronic copy of the guide can be viewed HERE

For further information contact Professor Derek Stewart at the James Hutton Institute.