It was "mentor" be...

Everyone could use a good mentor, and an effort is now underway to provide support to young plant breeders everywhere. Linc Thomas, who works with the Borlaug Training Foundation, is writing a book tentatively called “Letters to a Young Plant Breeder” and is seeking help from those of you who are well-established in your plant breeding careers. More details about this project are in the "Community News" section.

Early-career researcher Craig Carlson is settling in to his new position at the USDA-ARS in Fargo. You can read more about Craig in the “Community News” section, as well. If you know someone else just finishing their PhD in genetics, they might like to consider this position with SLU in Sweden.

Melania Figueroa has been making quite a name for herself, and was recently featured in a series of Tweets by "Science and She". Jaswinder Singh was recently made a fellow of the Canadian Society of Agronomy, and Gina Brown-Guedira has won the 2021 Public Sector Plant Breeding Impact Award from the NAPB (National Association of Plant Breeders). Congratulations, all!

Tuula Laukkanen recently retired from Fazer Mills in Finland, after a 45-year career that also saw her working with Raisio (article in Finnish).

The Finns have always been very creative with oat products, and one of the latest ones is pasta made solely from oats (article in Finnish).

In Scotland, another oat ‘milk’ product has been developed by Oats Scotland. Other companies are developing methods to produce oat milk more sustainably and make better use of the waste generated. Still others are using oats for a different kind of beverage. The "Oats-so-simple" brewing trial had 17 entries representing just as many styles of beer!

So how much beta-glucan would be in those products, I wonder? A recent article looks at how the health claims for oat and barley beta-glucan have been used. Beta-glucan also seems to be beneficial for gut health, and not just heart health.

September is whole grains month in the USA, and there are various ways to celebrate. Those grains have to come from somewhere, though, and this has not been a good year for growing oats in many places. Here are a number of recent articles and field day videos discussing oat production in various contexts:

The Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) will be hosting its third virtual "Fodder Forum" this Thursday, September 16th, at 7:00 pm AEST (5:00 am EDT), where you can hear from Allan Rattey about the new oat breeding program and from Hari Dadu about the National Hay Agronomy program.

A big issue for oat production in Australia is frost. A guide to frost damage is now available, as is a new method to track frost damage in paddocks.

Disease is also a big issue in Australia, in both hay and grain production. Red Leather Leaf is the most common disease seen on oats in southeastern Australia. Rust is also of great concern, and you can access the Australian Cereal Rust Survey map here.

As mentioned in the last update, similar tools are provided by the USDA-ARS, and you can hear more about those in the next "Speaking of Oats…" (SOO) webinar, which is also this Thursday, September 16th, but at 11:00 am EDT. Oluseyi Fajolu will discuss her work with the rust survey, and Shahryar Kianian and Eric Nazareno will discuss their work on the genetics of rust resistance. Please register here!

In between the AFIA and SOO webinars on September 16th, CGIAR’s GROW webinar will be held at 3:00 pm CEST (9:00 am EDT). The topic this month is "Genebanks and Breeding Efforts". Divseek will be hosting a webinar on September 21st at 8:00 am CST (10:00 am EDT) to present the "Horizon 2020 GENRES projects –Joining forces for genetic resources and biodiversity management".

The SOO webinar in October will be presented by Axel Diederichsen. He will be discussing “The impact of global changes on oat conservation and exchange at Plant Gene Resources of Canada”. Registration for this webinar will open later this week.

More resources relating to understanding genebank work can be found on the new "GRIN-U" website. Also of relevance is this paper and this webinar on the use of Digital Sequence Information as it pertains to genetic resources.

Oat wild relatives have been used for many years as excellent sources of resistance to crown rust, and I hope you are able to join us for both upcoming SOO webinars. Check the time offsets for your location for all the upcoming events at World Time Buddy!