Challenges - Part 2

Well, I failed the challenge of posting part 2 of this update a week after I posted part 1, but the upside is that you get lots of other information sooner!

Following up on the story regarding the use of chlormequat, the most recent challenge has come in the form of two lawsuits. One is Fitzgerald v. The Quaker Oats Company and the other is Necaise v. General Mills, Inc..

Part 1 also mentioned the upcoming American Oat Workers' Conference in Saskatoon, Canada, this July. The deadline for abstract submission is June 7th, and the deadline for registration is June 24th. Learn more about Saskatoon and things to do there on the conference website!

Depending on your travel plans, you may wish to consider attending this year's field tours at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research centres in Ottawa, ON, or Brandon, MB. "Oat Day" will be held in Ottawa on July 18th, and in Brandon on August 1st. Kirby Nilsen and his team in Brandon and Weikai Yan and his team in Ottawa would be most pleased to have you join them, but, if you've never travelled in Canada before, please note that travelling between Ottawa, Saskatoon, and Brandon can be rather challenging!

Weikai was featured in Ontario Grain Farmer Magazine recently. Back in 2022, Weikai, Kirby, and Aaron Beattie published a paper on Mega-environment analysis and breeding for specific adaptation. Recently, they were informed that this paper ranks within the top 10% of papers published by Crop Science. Congratulations to the three of them!

Meanwhile, in the USA, Melanie Caffe shared her breeding expertise at a recent "shared learning call" hosted by the Practical Farmers of Iowa. One big challenge for American producers every year is rust, and the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Lab website records small grain losses due to rust every year. Samples of rust for analysis can be sent to Oluseyi Fajolu as outlined at the end of last year's first Cereal Rust Bulletin.

In Australia, Grains Australia has developed a new National Oat Variety Classification Framework. The first milling oat accredited under the new system, 13008-18, has been named 'Goldie'. You can read more about it here. A new partnership for the development of oat germplasm has also been set up between the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and Traitomic – a crop trait development company.

In the UK, Catherine Howarth was interviewed by the BBC about oat breeding at Aberystwyth University and the use of heritage varieties. The interview begins at 3'48" in this podcast.

Two meetings of interest have been held recently in Germany. An article about the "Haferforum Nord" conference last November has been translated and can be found here. It is in the "Other Meetings" section of the newsletter, along with links to the program from the conference and the slide presentations (in German). Also in that section of the newsletter is information from the 23rd Breakfast Cereal Meeting held in Germany in March.

A list of links to talks and posters presented at this year's Plant and Animal Genome (PAG) meeting in January in San Diego, USA, can also be found in the "Other Meetings" section. Articles regarding the presentations made at the annual meetings of the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) and its associated commissions are now available in the March issue of POGA's "Oat Scoop" newsletter.

The final challenge I have for you is directed at all the porridge lovers! Do you love to play around with your oatmeal and come up with new, amazing taste combinations, or are you a purist who loves cooking the perfect, classic, plain porridge? Entries for this year's World Porridge Championships in Carrbridge, Scotland in October are now open! You have until June 20th to apply. Which country will have the honour of bringing home the Golden Spurtle?