Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Edmonton area, A.B.
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 292 Post(s)
I can weigh in, I have grown many varieties of oats over the years, and barleys.
First off, if you didn't pre price any oats this next year, I'd walk away from seeding oats. Lots of guys went heavy into oats as the prices got as high as $3.65/bu, which is crazy. But oats futures have really been taking some hits as guys prebooked oats contracts like crazy, I too prebooked a lot, as I knew this would drive the price down like crazy.
The oats market is also smaller then one might think, prices look good, but that's because seeded oats acres have been dropping for quite a while steadily. Also oats is under threat of glyphosate bans, so unless you are comfortable swathing, because at any moment buyers can get pissy and slap bans on. I don't see glyph being an issue yet, but it is coming down the pipe.
I would seed barley if you have no futures booked, as there is a bigger market, provided you grow (or try) malt.
If you do choose oats (as many people do opposite of what I'd do) I'd recommend Morgan oats, it is the best western Canadian oats variety I have ever seeded. Even tried newer ones such as Camden, Ruffian , they had promising disease packages and short straw and yield, but didn't thresh as good (ruffian too good, with excessive dehulls) or yield as promised.
Only thing I don't like about Morgan is it's height. But for me, it's a good white, plump oats which I have had my personal best oat yield of 208bu/ac.. crop was about 5'6" tall.