Crop Type: Open field crop
Breeding system: Predominantly autogamous
Avena strigosa is an annual grass plant in the family Poaceae, thought to have been domesticated and first cultivated in Europe around 2000 BC (Chapman, 2009). In 2017 production totalled 26 million tonnes globally, an increase of 16% from the year before (Fao.org, 2019). They are an important crop in cool, wet areas as they have a high tolerance to large amounts of rainfall and given sufficient moisture, they will grow on low nutrient soils.
In developed countries oat crops are used mainly for animal fodder but also for human consumption in the form of rolled oats and oatmeal, and for dairy milk alternatives. Cultivation of oats for animal feed may be on the decline, however, due to increasing interest in this crop as a health food (Rasane et al., 2013). It is also be grown as a cover crop and is used to help maintain the Machair habitat on the Outer Hebrides which requires active management through crop rotation and fallow year systems (Angus and Dargie, 2002; Brust and Gerhards, 2012).
In developing countries, oats are grown as forage then allowed to recover so that the grain may be harvested and consumed. Often in these cases the grain never enters the commercial market and is consumed on farm (Suttie and Reynolds, 2004).References
- Angus, S. and Dargie, T. (2002). The UK Machair Habitat Action Plan: Progress and problems. Botanical Journal of Scotland, 54(1), pp.63-74.
- Brust, J. and Gerhards, R. (2012). Lopsided oat (Avena strigosa) as a new summer annual cover crop for weed suppression in Central Europe. In: 25th German Conference on Weed Biology and Weed Control. [online] Available at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/950a/83dd2755ffacc390b5c68db567538781a10c.pdf [Accessed 29 Nov. 2019].
- Chapman, G. (2009). Grass evolution and domestication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.178-179.
- Fao.org. (2019). FAOSTAT. [online] Available at: http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QC [Accessed 29 Nov. 2019].
- Rasane, P., Jha, A., Sabikhi, L., Kumar, A. and Unnikrishnan, V. (2013). Nutritional advantages of oats and opportunities for its processing as value added foods - a review. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 52(2), pp.662-675.
- Suttie, J. and Reynolds, S. (2004). Fodder oats. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Chapter II.