Organic producers struggle to find suitable varieties for their growing conditions. Most field crop varieties released are bred and tested under conventional conditions. To fill this gap, Organic Alberta is conducting large field-scale testing of three different oat varieties (CDC Dancer, Triactor and Souris) to test for their performance on organic farms.
Kevin Beach is an organic farmer near Swift Current, Saskatchewan participating in the trial. Here he shows a 10 acre field of CDC Dancer oats.
Sam Godwin (centre) spearheaded the oat trial in 2012. As chair of the Organic Alberta Oat Committee, Sam saw that there was a need for more research into what varieties performed well on organic farms. After conducting a survey of organic producers in Alberta, it was determined that trails on organic oat varieties would help farmers improve yields and avoid diseases, lodging, and quality issues. From four farms in 2012, the trial has grown to 12 farms in 2013. Eldon Kebernic (right) stands in his field of organic oats that was in the trial. More info on the trials will be posted later in the season.