Barra oats have been grown for the last season in Ireland this year, after decades in the spotlight. The variety was first listed on the Department’s Recommended List in 1986.
Barra is one of the most famous oat varieties in this country and was very popular in the food industry.
Breeders are putting some of the seed into cold storage as it has been a consistent variety for quality over the years.
John Dunne of Goldcrop, the company with responsibility for the variety here in Ireland, stated:
“After decades of production we finally decided to cease production. It was the benchmark for grain quality for so many years. Nothing could get even close to it. It outlived a lot of other varieties and chemical products.
“Isabel has come along now and Isabel was the first variety to match and actually pass Barra from a KPH point of view.
“It’s the final year of it. Some seed will be kept in cold storage by the breeder in Sweden as a genetic resource should we ever want it, but in terms of commercial production it is now finished.”
The main winter oat varieties for 2022 and 2023 are Husky and Isabel.
Husky rates at 104 for relative yield and has a KPH of 57, while Isabel is at 103 for relative yield with a KPH of 58.3.