Going the distance…

If you follow long distance running, you’ll know that everyone has been all a-flutter because Eliud Kipchoge recently ran a marathon in under two hours. How did he do it? "Kipchoge got out of his hotel bed at 4:50 a.m. and had oatmeal for breakfast."

A slightly longer run has been had by what began as the Welsh Plant Breeding Station in Aberystwyth (and is now IBERS). It was established in 1919, 100 years ago. A video featuring Catherine Howarth and John Davies was produced to mark the occasion. NIAB, the UK's National Institute of Agricultural Botany, is also celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

To have a good run you need to plan. An Oat Strategy Meeting was held recently at the University of Minnesota to develop a research strategy for investing $1,000,000 in funds recently obtained from the U.S. Congress for USDA-ARS work on oat. Minutes from the meeting can be found in the “Other Meetings” section. Please review them and send any comments to Britta Hansen (address in the document). These comments will be incorporated into drafts of the individual strategy documents currently in preparation.

One of the sponsors of the Oat Strategy Meeting was Oat Global. Tom Rabaey was recently chosen to be the new chair of the Oat Global Board. He has also been named a “Pivot and Grow Champion”. Congratulations, Tom, and thank you to Gabe Gusmini, the previous Oat Global chair.

The other sponsor of the Oat Strategy Meeting was the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA). POGA puts out its own "Oat Scoop" newsletter several times a year, and the November issue has just been posted. Each issue has a lot of very interesting information, and the website also has sections describing current and completed research projects that receive funding from POGA. Look under the “Research Projects” tab on their home page to find those.

Nick Tinker is one of the scientists receiving funding from POGA, and his group's work was recently featured in the Eastern edition of the November issue of “Top Crop Manager” magazine.

In our own “Research Reports” section, there is a summary of an article by Fran Canales, et al.. Fran, who was supervised by Elena Prats, was recently awarded his PhD cum laude by the University of Cordoba, Spain. Congratulations, Fran!

These days, more and more research is being undertaken directly on people's farms. The Practical Farmers of Iowa's next "Learning Call" will be held on December 6th at 1:00 pm CST. The topic will be oat variety selection. To join the call, dial +1-605-313-5784 and enter passcode 239000# when prompted.

Someone who had just shifted the focus of his work to oats was John Finnan, who worked with Teagasc in Ireland. Tragically, he was recently killed in a plane crash. Our condolences are extended to his coworkers and family.

Other disturbing news concerns the oat “milk” craze and the conflicts emerging not just with dairy farmers, but with oat farmers as well. There is an article in the “Community News” section on this topic. My “Web Harvest” can also be found there. This one is rather long, as it covers three months of articles and information. That's a marathon for you right there, so settle in for a good read!