Brazilian Oat Research Commission will test strains developed by Epagri

Epagri's priorities are pasture-based livestock production, which results in internal forage improvement programs, among other actions.

17.04.2023 | 15:38 (UTC -3)

Epagri became a member of the Brazilian Oat Research Commission (CBPA) with the availability of three strains it developed from the plant, for evaluation by the research network from 2024. On April 4th and 5th, three Epagri researchers participated in the XLII Meeting of the Brazilian Oat Research Commission, which took place in the city of Pelotas (RS), and presented the new genotypes.

Felipe Jochims, researcher at the Research Center for Family Farming (Epagri/Cepaf), responsible for the genetic improvement of oats that generated the lines, defended, during the meeting, the Company's entry into the network as a genetics holder. Jefferson A. Flaresso and Joseli Stradiotto Neto, researchers at the Epagri Experimental Station in Lages, also represented Epagri. 

CBPA brings together all teaching, research and extension institutions, cooperatives, seed producers, governmental, private and industrial entities, focused on the development of oat cultivation in Brazil. Its purpose is to coordinate, plan and analyze oat research work carried out in the country. To this end, it meets annually with the mission of publicizing the results achieved in recent research. 

Felipe explains that Epagri's priorities are pasture-based livestock production, which results in internal forage improvement programs, among other actions. Furthermore, Epagri/Cepaf is located in Chapecó, in the west of Santa Catarina, one of the largest dairy basins in Brazil. Therefore, the production and improvement of species that aim to increase forage availability is important, as is active participation in CBPA. 

Unanimous vote

During the meeting, the Epagri delegation presented the Company's participation and the evaluation of its materials in the rehearsals to the network for deliberation. To this end, Felipe presented to the group the oat genetic improvement program developed by Epagri/Cepaf, the steps carried out so far, the origins of the materials used, the objectives of the oat improvement lines and the productivity obtained by the own materials, “ always compared with the productivity of commercial cultivars used as a witness by the commission itself”, explains the researcher. 

“In addition, the productive characteristics of the region were presented, which justifies the great demand for strains adapted to the realities of Santa Catarina, with more than 80 thousand rural properties that produce milk”, describes Felipe. He reveals that the Commission voted unanimously for Epagri to join. “After careful analysis of production data, production curves, production cycle and objectives to be achieved, all strains proposed by the research team were also accepted to be evaluated by the consortium of institutions that form the research committee, already with evaluations in the year 2024”, he reports.  

Improvement since 2014

Felipe says that he has been carrying out genetic improvement of oats at Epagri/Cepaf since 2014. To be registered as a new cultivar, each new strain needs to be tested for at least two years and in at least three different locations, in order to understand its productivity and its interaction with different climates. “When evaluated by the CBPA, this material already becomes known to the institutions that are part of it”, he states. The researcher also says that the Commission will test the three materials proposed by Epagri in areas of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná. 

“As the new strains will be tested in various climates, we will have more precision when it comes to indicating the most suitable one for livestock farmers in Santa Catarina, depending on the climatic characteristics of where they produce”, explains Felipe. He also says that the new oat strains will help reduce the forage gap that exists in the autumn/winter of the dairy basin in Western Santa Catarina. “The forage base of the region is formed by perennial summer plants, which stop producing when the ambient temperature and hours of sunlight begin to reduce. Thus, oats, being used in overseeding, increase annual forage production without harming perennial pasture. ”, describes the researcher.

Felipe has been developing oat genetic improvement at Epagri since 2014. The three materials made available for evaluation by CBPA have already been tested in the field for three years, achieving higher yields than similar materials available on the market. According to him, at least eight other lines of oats from Epagri have the potential to be evaluated by the Commission in the coming years. 

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