There is one new candidate variety for winter oats this year –WPB Shaun. It comes from the same breeder as Isabel and looks good on yield so far.

Looking at the oat variety trials in Backweston, what was really interesting is that there are three varieties coming down the line which have no signs of powdery mildew.

Those varieties are Efes, KWS Ocre and WPB Enya.

Mildew is one of the main diseases affecting oats, so if these varieties make it through to the recommended lists it could create a saving on fungicides with the crop.

WPB Enya is a candidate variety in the Department of Agriculture’s spring oat trials and has relative yield scores of 102 and 104 for 2021 and 2020, respectively.

In the winter oat trials, there was a true winter oat variety. The variety is coded and does not yet have a name, but was extremely green at the end of June when most of the other varieties had turned colour significantly.

Efes, KWS Ocre and WPB Enya are showing good resistance to mildew.

WPB Isabel and Husky remain the dominant winter and spring oat varieties for 2022/2023.

Organic trials

2022 is also the first year for the Department to have an organic spring oat trial. Husky and WPB Isabel again are the dominant varieties in this trial.