Eimear Gallagher, Teagasc,
Ashtown, speaking at the Teagasc
National Tillage Conference.
produced showed comparable expansion/aeration, texture, and
eating quality to a corn-based commercial control product.
Through science-based innovation, the researchers involved in this
project have shown how new, innovative and healthy cereal-based
ingredients and food products, when used in conjunction with
appropriate processing aids, may be developed using Irish-grown
barley and oats.
CUTTING SEED OAT COATS
John Finnan, Teagasc crops researcher, presented work on oat
agronomy, outlining potential savings in seed costs and how to
optimise both yield and quality through careful use of nitrogen (N)
Over recent years, the Teagasc crops research programme in Oak
Park has sought to develop alternative and novel uses for crops
with potentially higher-value markets. Oats have considerable
potential health food benefits.
Oats were once grown all over Ireland and covered 670,000ha.
However, compared to other cereals, such as wheat and barley,
relatively little research has been conducted on oats. It is necessary
to understand yield formation in the crop before both yield and
quality can be optimised. Oat yields are primarily driven by grain
number per panicle (head) rather than the number of panicles.
This arises because the oat panicle has a very large capacity to set
grains compared to barley and wheat and high numbers of panicles
are not needed to achieve high grain numbers. At low plant
populations, the panicle on the main stem can have as many as 200
grains and the plant also develops additional panicles on tillers to
compensate for a lower plant population. Grain quality (hectolitre
weight) is constant across a wide range of seed rates. Economic
margins tend to be optimised with a plant population in the spring
of 250 plants/m
although, sometimes, higher plant populations
) are needed to optimise returns. Oat plants tend
to compete with each other more so than wheat and barley plants,
and percentage establishment falls with seeding rate from 90 per
cent in the case of a low seeding rate (100 seeds/m
) to 65 per cent
for a high seeding rate (500 seeds/m
). Consequently, the seeding
rate required, in good conditions, to produce a plant population
of 250 plants/m
in early spring is 350 seeds/m
. However, in some
instances, returns will be optimised at a higher seeding rate of 400
DRIVING YIELD WITH NITROGEN
Grain yields increase in response to added N but typically reach
a maximum at 150kg N/ha for a variety such as Husky grown
on Index 1 soils. The principle yield parameter influenced by N
application is the number of grains per panicle. The economic
optimum N rate is 120-150kg N/ha. However, hectolitre weight falls
with the application of additional N, typically by 1kg/hl for each
additional 30kg N/ha. Different strategies for splitting N between
growth stage (GS) 30 (March) and GS32 (April) tend to have only
small effects on yield but hectolitre weight falls as the proportion
of the total amount of N applied at GS32 increases. A 50:50 strategy
for splitting N between GS30 and GS32 will increase hectolitre
weight by 1kg/hl compared to a 33:66 strategy.
Figure 1: Optimum nitrogen rate.
Husky Index 1
0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240
JOHN FINNAN'S CONCLUSIONS
1. Oats can develop a large number of grains in its panicle;
2. Compensates well for low plant populations;
3. Optimal seed rates: 350-400 seeds/m
4. Optimal N rate (Index 1): 120-150 kg/ha.
But... hectolitre weight will fall as N rate is increased and
with delayed application.
NOVEL FOOD USES FOR IRISH CEREALS