A NEW spring oat which has performed well in Recommended List trials looks to have cornered a bit of the market for itself.

Though largely unproven in Scotland, there may still be some merit for growers considering WPB Elyann for their spring planting schedules. Richardson Milling, the Canadian conglomerate that bought Bedford-based European Oat Millers earlier this year, is seeking growers of good quality spring oats for a growing consumer demand.

Supply for the human consumption market is currently dominated by the winter variety, Mascani, but after a successful first year of trials with Elyann, Richardson Milling has tapped into a swell of interest in spring crops by offering contracts for 2018 harvest.

Brin Hughes, the firm’s agronomy manager, said interest in WPB Elyann improved after a positive on-farm results in 2017 and better than average hulling losses for a spring variety. This was supported by seed rate and fertiliser trials performed in conjunction with KWS demonstrating that competitive yields could be produced with good hullabillity and without excessive screenings.

“WPB Elyann is the only spring oat we have tested with hulling losses consistently lower than the 30% desired limit. We already knew it had the necessary kernel content, but hullability is the most important factor determining a variety’s suitability for milling for human consumption and we are pleased with the commercial samples we have seen so far from harvest 2017,” says Mr Hughes.

“Our first commercial crop, grown on light soils outside Cambridge in 2017, produced an average yield of 6.88t/ha with screenings of 4.6% and we believe there is scope to improve on these figures further as future trials continue to examine fertiliser timings and seed rates,” he added.