"Deerie" me - and other stories

Deer really do like oats – and they’re picky. Turns out other animals do, too, as George Fedak can attest. The same could be said for little boys, and Janet Hainstock has written a lovely story about one little boy’s love of oats.

Everyone loves a good story, and Catherine Howarth and others at IBERS, in Wales, have been working with a seed sovereignty group to study old Welsh oats like 'Ceirch Du Bach'. Part of that story is told in a new video, "Llafur Ni - Our Grains" (doesn't look like they're threshing oats there, though).

Many farmers are experimenting with different production techniques these days. You might enjoy this recent interview with English farmer John Pawsey, as he describes his regenerative farming efforts.

Another technique people are exploring is intercropping, as described in this discussion of growing oats with peas by Lana Shaw, from the South East Research Farm in Canada.

In Australia, the GRDC recently announced more funding for projects led by Ben Trevaskis (phenology), Tim Sutton (disease resistance), and Chengdao Li (breeding/genomics).

In the United States, there is a new oat agronomist at USDA-ARS in Brookings, SD. Please welcome Patrick Ewing to our community! You can read a bit more about him here. Also in South Dakota, oat breeder Melanie Caffe is still looking for a postdoc to join her lab at SDSU. The USDA-ARS group in Fargo, ND, also has a position open - for a Supervisory Research Plant Pathologist/Research Geneticist/Research Chemist.

The video from the last “Speaking of Oats…” (SOO) webinar is not yet available, but, if you recall, Jean-Luc Jannink described how the T3/Oat team, the Practical Farmers of Iowa, and Lucia Gutierrez are developing an "Oat Selector Tool" for farmers. A report on the tool was recently published on the PFI website.

Materials from other recent events are available now, including slides from the AHDB spring oat forum and the slides and video from the first CGIAR GROW webinar, "Rethinking Genebank Management". For those of you who tried and could not join the GROW webinar, it turns out they were “Zoom-bombed”, and had to close the link. Another one was created, but, as there had been no registration involved, only a small group of people could be notified quickly. This is why we require registration for the SOO webinars, and why “webinar” format is used instead of “meeting” format, even though we greatly miss having more personal interactions.

As you know, the next SOO webinar will be on February 18th at 11:00 EST (Canada/USA). Taner Sen and Victoria Blake will be telling us all about the GrainGenes database - "A Curated and Functional Global Web Resource for Small Grains". Don’t forget to register!

These days, there are many events on the calendar, so please take a look at those. Remember, too, that some of the stories mentioned above are located in other sections of the newsletter, such as “Community News”, “For Kids”, and "Other Meetings". If you haven’t for a while, please take some time to browse the different sections of the newsletter. You are welcome to provide feedback and submit articles and other content at any time. Contact me at oatnewsletter@gmail.com!