3] Sustainable oat cultivation
WP leader: Johanna Wetterlind email@example.com
Candidate oat lines with unique traits have to be tested under various field conditions before they can be further developed to commercial varieties and released to the market. ScanOats designs field experiments to find the cultivation conditions that will optimize the unique end-use properties of the lines developed within the consortium. This is done by applying a battery of precision agriculture techniques to identify and evaluate properties important for a productive and sustainable growth, such as nitrogen uptake, root depth and pathogen resistance under different relevant field conditions.
In addition, an oat line with specific and unique grain qualities may require specific growth conditions to express the quality traits in sufficient high quantities to make a commercial cultivation economically interesting. Many oats are for example known to be sensitive to low manganese contents and low pH values and to react differently to the phytotoxicity of various pesticides. Since soil conditions vary considerably not only between different fields but also within fields, these parameters are important to take into account when designing the experiments.
In the last fifteen years, technologies such as Global Position Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have greatly improved our capacity for high-resolution field-scale analysis of soil nutrients, pH values and composition of clay, sand and organic matter. The GPS and GIS systems also enable site-specific adjustments of fertilizers and plant protection agents, leading to improved yields and end-use qualities with less input. These technologies together with modern machinery enable Precision Agriculture (PA) with a lower environmental effect. ScanOats is using available PA techniques to optimize more specific growth conditions for new oat lines as well as develop new PA methods especially relevant for the evaluation and optimization of new quality traits.