Expanding malting and poultry feed markets – not to mention demand from breakfast cereal, baked goods and fish and pet food manufacturers – are creating growing opportunities for naked oat production across the country, according to added-value crop specialists, GB Seeds.
Speaking at the launch of their closed-loop 2020 winter Superioat contract, product manager, Skye van Heyzen stressed that steadily-increasing demand means extra buy-back opportunities for premium-earning winter crops from the coming autumn.
“Naked oats are becoming much more widely sought after these days for their particularly high nutrient density, high oil and high digestibility,” he explained.
“As an alternative wheat break for winter sowing, 6t/ha naked oat crops offer margins on a par with 4t/ha OSR and better than most second wheats. They can be successfully grown at pHs as low as 5.3 and have a wide September to December sowing window for the greatest flexibility. What’s more, they are far less vulnerable to late or dry seasons than any spring crops and typically deliver 0.5t/ha more than equivalent spring oat plantings.
“While being easier and generally less costly to grow than most winter crops, the latest varieties respond well to the best agronomy, he added. “We saw yields of up to 6.7 t/ha on farm last year despite the difficult growing season.
“With the £30-45/tonne premium over feed wheat available with our latest contracts, this makes them a very attractive proposition for growers looking to produce for secure markets; especially so given extra earning opportunities of £30-60/tonne for their straw.”
The 2020 Superioat contracts are available for tried and tested variety, Grafton; established dwarf, Fusion; and up-and-coming newcomer, Peloton which offers particular advantages in yield, specific weight, stem stiffness and disease resistance.
They offer four movement periods with increasing premiums to reward farm storage, and eminently achievable specifications.
“Our contracts are area-based and we guarantee to market all oats lifted,” stressed Mr van Heyzen. “The diversity of end users we have means we can match individual crops to different markets for the greatest grower security. And extensive Agrii-trialling allows us to work closely with our growers to secure the best performance through agronomy that makes the most of whatever Mother Nature throws-up.
“As the naked oat market grows, we look forward to providing more and more growers with the security, support and flexibility our established growers know us for, working with them to take full advantage of the sort of opportunity that will be increasingly valuable in a post- Brexit world.”