Fields of dreams

It’s the height of field season for oats in both the northern and southern hemispheres, and it seems that every second tweet I see on Twitter is an invitation to a field day! I retweet many of these, but, unfortunately, the latest changes to the Twitter platform have disabled the widget that displays my tweets and retweets at the bottom of the newsletter homepage. Most of you can access @OatNewsletter on Twitter directly, but it's less convenient, so here’s hoping that the issue will be resolved soon.

Information about many of the field days does get added to the "Weekly Web Harvests" (WWH) published on Sunday nights in the "Community News" section of the newsletter. Events of broader interest are also added to the calendar or advertised here on the homepage. For example, there is now more information available concerning the Oat Global field day and genomics discussion being held in Fargo, ND, USA, from July 26-27th, and, half a world away, Allan Rattey will be discussing his work on developing oats with long coleoptiles at a field day in Narrogin, Australia, this Friday, July 14th. (Note that job openings are also posted in the WWH, and the latest is for a Research Scientist to study oat quality at AEGIC in Australia.)

This being field season in the USA, Oluseyi Fajolu is once again requesting that stem and crown rust samples be sent to her at the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Lab for race testing. More details are in this brochure. The results are published in the Cereal Rust Bulletin, and issues #2, #3, and #4 are now available for 2023.

The other end of the “Puccinia pathway” that brings rust to North America is in South America, and there is a new research article about oats in Brazil in the "Research Reports" section. This is a translation of a document by Luis Federizzi and Marcelo Pacheco first written in Portuguese (link in the article). A set of photos from the field accompanies the article.

Back to what happens on Twitter, Ziya Dumlupinar recently posted this photo of one of his oat lines in Turkey that’s 155 cm tall! The astonishing thing is that it doesn’t seem to have issues with lodging….

Both @Teagasc and @OatsHealthy are very active Twitter accounts with lots of information on oat research in Ireland and Wales. Here are examples of Atik Rahman speaking at a Teagasc field day two weeks ago (video) and the Healthy Oats team looking at a low N heritage oats trial at IBERS in Wales.

Members of the Healthy Oats team also present seminars from time to time, and you can watch the recording of a talk by Andrea Silva Espinoza on “Advances that support new oats product development” here.

Speaking of European projects, Nordgen’s Public Private Partnership program for pre-breeding has an open call for research proposals. The deadline for submission is the 15th of September.

Another European group looking at oats (plus five other underutilized crops) is CROPDIVA. More about that group, along with some of the first results coming out of the project, can be found in their June newsletter. The first international CROPDIVA symposium, ‘Agrobiodiversity along the value chain’, will be held December 4th-6th, 2023, in Ghent, Belgium. Abstracts are due on September 15th!

The next big conference focussed on oats will be the American Oat Workers’ Conference. That conference will be held in Saskatoon, SK, Canada, at the end of July or beginning of August, 2024. Keep in mind that there will be a field tour, so start thinking about which lines you might want to send for inclusion in the demo plots!

If you’d like to know what else is happening in the oat community in western Canada right now, the June issue of the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) newsletter is now available. Back on the other side of the world again, you can read the Australasian Grain Science Association’s latest newsletter here. They also have a conference coming up soon.

If you have information to share, whether it’s a research report, a description of what happened during your field day this year, event information, or something that you would like to discuss in a "Speaking of Oats..." webinar, then please send your submissions to

Here’s hoping that all your field dreams come true!