Let's be practical here...

These folks are so practical, it’s in their name – the Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI)! As described on their website, “Practical Farmers of Iowa's mission is to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information sharing”. There is a renewed interest in growing oats in Iowa, and you may remember seeing the list of PFI videos published in the newsletter last year.

You can keep up-to-date with the group by signing up for their traditional paper newsletter and/or the electronic version. PFI also holds “Shared Learning” conference calls. There is a call this Friday, March 2nd, concerning the marketing of small grains to breweries and distilleries. Details can be found here.

Further northwest, in Saskatchewan, the South East Research Farm (SERF) is also very interested in practical things, and has a special interest in studying the intercropping of different species. SERF also conducts various other sorts of trials, and is looking for partners in these efforts. Please see the message from Lana Shaw in the “Community news” section.

In the same section, you can also find a message from Katie Liberatore, from the USDA Cereal Disease Lab in Minneapolis. Rust is beginning to appear in the southern Plains, and collaborators are being asked to collect and send in leaf samples. Instructions for doing so are in the message. Please note that the "fillable" forms are only fillable after they've been downloaded!

In the “Research Reports” section (vol. 55, 2018 now), the first release of a haplotype-phased genome assembly for Puccinia coronata, the fungus causing oat crown rust, is reported by Marisa Miller, et al.. There’s even a short video about the work!

We also have a translation of a paper by Steffen Beuch of Nordsaat, Germany, discussing how crop management methods can be used to increase the quality of milling oats in that area. This is important, because the use of oats for food in Germany has been increasing steadily.

Aside from the PFI Shared Learning call this Friday, please don’t forget that there are other deadlines coming up!

  • Early bird registration for AOWC2018 ends February 28th. Details are on the AOWC page, as well as on the conference website.
  • The deadline for hotel bookings for the NAMA spring conference is March 1st, and the deadline for conference registration is March 9th.
  • Seed for the demo plots at the IOC 2020 conference in Perth, Australia, must be sent as soon as possible. Details are on the IOC page.