Oat Variety Trial under Organic Management: Increasing Profitability for Organic Producers in the North Central Region

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2017: $30,000.00
Projected End Date: 03/14/2019
Grant Recipient: South Dakota State University
Region: North Central
State: South Dakota
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Melanie Caffe-Treml
South Dakota State University

Information Products


  • Agronomic: oats


  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Production Systems: general crop production

    Proposal abstract:

    Choosing the right variety can have a major impact on the productivity and marketability of the grain produced. Because chemicals are not used to control weed and pests in organic farming, the choice of variety constitutes an even more important farm management decision than for conventional systems. Although oat variety recommendations are available for conventional management, very limited information on variety performance under organic production system is available. Organic producers are forced to rely on data collected for conventional systems where differences in competitive ability against weed among varieties is not evaluated and where fungicides are often used to control disease. To guide organic farmers when making this important decision, we will evaluate and compare the performance of twenty oat varieties by performing variety trials at organic farms located in three states within the North Central Region during two growing seasons. Results obtained on those three farms will be shared with other organic producers through extension websites and field days in the three states. Recommendations will help farmers maximize their profitability. This project is expected to increase the resiliency of organic farming operations in the North Central Region.  

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Our objectives are to: 1) identify oat varieties that will provide the best profitability for organic producers in the North Central region; 2) identify oat varieties that exhibits good end-use quality so that the grain produced meet the market requirements; 3) identify oat varieties that have the ability to compete with weed; 4) communicate our results with growers throughout the region by presenting results on extension websites of three universities, presenting results at field days in the three states, and presenting at one regional conference.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.