Another job opportunity at the USDA-ARS

The USDA-ARS is hiring yet another person to work with oats! This position is for a Research Agronomist/Plant Physiologist at the Integrated Cropping Systems Research Unit in Brookings, South Dakota. Responsibilities will include examining oat germplasm diversity and evaluating ecosystem benefits of growing oats.

For more information, or to apply, go here.

Best of luck to all applicants!

Virtually everything but the kitchen sink

Let’s begin with the item that has the closest deadline – Grain Farmers of Ontario has put out a call for proposals. The deadline for receiving Letters of Intent is next Wednesday, July 15th.

NordGen has also put out a call for proposals. Until September 15th, companies and public institutions can submit proposals for projects aimed at adapting environmentally and climate-friendly crops by using plant genetic resources.

New hexaploid oat genome sequence released

PepsiCo has just announced the release of the full genome sequence for the hexaploid oat line OT3098. This is exciting for many reasons, not the least of which is that the sequence has been made publicly available on the GrainGenes website! You can find more information about this effort and links to the data in the article in the "Research Reports" section.

**New contact info** (And a virtual field day!)

We've been having some technical issues with the newsletter, and ended up losing the curator's email account in the process. The new email address is

While that whole mess has been a real field day(!), there's also a virtual one coming up on June 24th. It's being sponsored by the Practical Farmers of Iowa, and further information can be found here.

More news to come soon!

Extraordinary times - with a hint of normalcy….

The last newsletter update brought the unfortunate news that the 11th International Oat Conference was being postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, many events have been cancelled outright, and others have been postponed. The 5th Genomic Selection Course, for example, will now be held in September instead of June.

A changing of (some of) the guard

Twenty-eight years ago today, on February 24th, 1992, I (Charlene Wight) joined what is now the Ottawa Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to work on oat genomics. Over those 28 years I have met many amazing people in the broader oat community, including Bruce Roskens, who recently retired from Grain Millers, Inc.. A summary of Bruce's career, which includes his being presented with the Award for Distinguished Service to Oat Improvement, has been added to the "Hall of Fame" section under "Retirements".

Happy Year of the, um...

So is it the Year of the Rat? Or the Year of the Oat? How about both?

First, I would like to say Happy Year of the Rat to those of you celebrating Lunar New Year, which is this Saturday, January 25th. Saturday is also Burns Night for those of us with a Scottish background, so be sure to raise a glass to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns and indulge in some haggis or cranachan, both of which are made with oats.