Field day on getting best from oats

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The Oat Industry Group held an oat farming field day last week.
The field day, at Oat Industry Group chairman Graeme Gardyne’s property in East Chatton Rd, featured speakers from different parts of the oat industry.
Harraways chief executive Stuart Hammer was there to talk about the future of his company.  He said Harraways was celebrating its 150th anniversary and, as part of that, the company was trialling new products including two new flavours.
He was pleased with the way the oat market was going. “There is a good outlook for oats.” Plant & Food Research was also there to talk about the research the organisation was doing on oats in Southland.
Senior research technologist Stewart Armstrong discussed work he was doing to keep oat plants from falling over. “We are working on strengthening the straw and shortening the plant,” he said. Participants also received a tour of Plant Research NZ Ltd’s oat improvement breeding programme.
Manager director Adrian Russell said the organisation was breeding a variety of oats with different heights and maturities, but the focus was on yield and quality.
Other speakers included grain trader Dean Smith and Venture Southland business services manager Alistair Adam, who talked about the Southland oat milk project.
Mr Gardyne said he was pleased with how the day went. “I’m very happy. We had a great turnout.” This was the first time the Oat Industry Group had held a field day separate from the Foundation for Arable Research grain field day held last month, so not as many people attended compared with other years, he said.