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New Oats and
Barleys for Breakfast, Brewery or Barn
By Marcia Wood
August 30, 2001
An array of outstanding new oats and
barleys for the West is coming from an Agricultural Research Service
plant-breeding program based at Aberdeen, Idaho. The new varieties are intended
for planting primarily in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming or
The program, regarded as one of the best of its kind in the nation, is
directed by scientists at the ARS
Small Grains and Potato
Germplasm Research Unit at Aberdeen.
One new oat variety, Powell, produced greater yields than some leading
commercial varieties when tested in Idaho and Wyoming. ARS scientists
collaborated with Lyle R. Bjornestad of the University of Wyoming and with other colleagues
in that state and in Idaho to develop Powell.
Other new oats are the hull-less varieties Lamont and Provena. There's
interest in hull-less oats as high-quality feed for horses and dairy cattle.
However, in the past, few if any hull-less oats have been well-adapted to the
West. Now, Lamont and Provena could help change that.
Provena boasts good yields and impressive resistance to lodging. Lamont also
resists lodging and is adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions.
Outstanding new barleys from the Aberdeen breeders include Garnet, for
springtime planting. Garnet is proving ideal for malting and brewing. It is
also suitable as feed for beef and dairy cattle. The Aberdeen breeders worked
with ARS colleagues in Madison, Wis., and
university cooperators, to develop Garnet.
Spring barleys like Garnet need moisture from rain or irrigation throughout
the growing season. For nonirrigated farms in the West that don't get enough
rain to consistently produce high-value malting barley, the Aberdeen team is
working on new, winter malting barleys. One or two winter barleys may be ready
for release to breeders and seed producers by 2002 or 2003.
An article in the
August issue of the ARS monthly journal, Agricultural Research,
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agricultures chief scientific research agency.