Richardson Milling (UK) ltd, the Canadian conglomerate that bought Bedford-based European Oat Millers earlier this year, is seeking growers of good quality spring oats as consumer demand continues to grow.
Supply for the human consumption market is currently dominated by the winter variety Mascani, but after a successful first year of trials with the spring oat variety, WPB Elyann, Richardson Milling has tapped the growing interest in spring crops by offering contracts for the 2018 harvest.
Brin Hughes, the firm’s agronomy manager, says interest in WPB Elyann improved after a positive on-farm results in 2017 and better than average hulling losses for a spring variety. This was further supported with seed rate and fertiliser trials performed in conjunction with KWS demonstrating that competitive yields could be produced with good hullabillity and without excessive screenings.
“WPB Elyann is the only spring oat we have tested with hulling losses consistently lower than the 30% desired limit. We already knew it had the necessary kernel content, but hullability is the most important factor determining a variety’s suitability for milling for human consumption and we are pleased with the commercial samples we have seen so far from harvest 2017,” says Brin Hughes.
“Our first commercial crop, grown on light soils outside Cambridge in 2017, produced an average yield of 6.88t/ha with screenings of 4.6% and we believe there is scope to improve on these figures further as future trials continue to examine fertiliser timings and seed rates,” he adds.