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L I B RAR.Y

OF THL
UNIVERSITY
OF ILL! NOIS



no. 4-70-46)5
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N.O.N CIRCULATING

CHECK FOR UNBOUND.
CIRCULATING COPY



PRING OATS





VARIETIES
FOR

I ILLINOIS




By George H. Dungan
O. T. Bonnett

and
W. L. Burlison



Bulletin 481



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION



CONTENTS

PACE

CHANGES IN ACREAGE AND YIELDS 443

BETTER VARIETIES A REASON FOR BETTER YIELDS 444

SOIL TREATMENT ON TEST FIELDS 445

METHODS OF CONDUCTING THE TESTS 446

HIGHEST GRAIN- YIELDING VARIETIES 447

Northern Illinois 447

Central Illinois 452

Southern Illinois 453

HIGHEST STRAW-YIELDING VARIETIES 455

GROATS YIELD OF SEVERAL VARIETIES 455

IMPROVEMENT THRU BREEDING 459

CHOOSING A VARIETY TO GROW 466

RATE AND METHOD OF SEEDING 466

RECOMMENDED GROWING PRACTICES 468

SUMMARY.. . 470



Urbana, Illinois January, 1942

Publications in the Bulletin series report the results of investigations made
or sponsored by the Experiment Station



Spring Oat Varieties for Illinois

By GEORGE H. DUNCAN, O. T. BONNETT, and W. L. BURLISON'

CHANGES IN ACREAGE AND YIELDS

F THE FARM CROPS grown in Illinois oats rank second in
acreage, being exceeded only by corn. The peak in oat acre-
age was reached in 1925, when 4,724,000 acres were devoted
to this crop. Since that time the amount of Illinois farm land in oats
has declined until in 1940 only 3,177,000 acres were used for oat pro-
duction. In only two years since 1899, namely 1934 and 1939, has the



O




1891 1896 1901 1906 1911 1916 1921 1926 1931 1936

1895 1900 1905 1910 1915 1920 1925 1930 1935 1940

FIVE-YEAR PERIOD

Fig. 1. Illinois and U. S. oat yields. The trend during these 50 years shows
a greater gain in acre-yields in Illinois (1.8 bushels) than in the United
States (Vi bushel).

oat acreage fallen below the 1940 figure. The acreage in 1941 was
about 250,000 higher than in 1940.

Average acre-yields of oats for the state have varied widely during
the last forty years. The highest state average ever attained was
reached in 1917, when 52 bushels an acre were produced. It happened
that the acreage that year was close to the top, with the result that
Illinois recorded a phenomenal crop of 244,400,000 bushels. This was
almost 95 million bushels more than the 1940 oat crop, the second all-
time high, which gave an average yield of 48 bushels an acre.

'GEORGE H. DUNCAN, Chief in Crop Production; O. T. BONNETT, Assist-
ant Chief in Plant Genetics; and W. L. BURLISON, Chief in Crop Production.

443



444



BULLETIN No. 481



[January,



At the other extreme were the low acre-yields of 1933 and 1934,
the only years showing yields of less than 20 bushels an acre as far
back as records go. The 1933 yield was 19.5 bushels and the 1934 yield
only 11 bushels. With plantings of only a little over 3 million acres in
1934, the total production came to less than 331/2 million bushels.

Thus between the largest oat crop in 1917 and the smallest one in
1934 was a difference of 41 bushels in acre-yield and 211 million
bushels in total yield.

For the United States as a whole the average acre-yield of oats has
been slightly upward over the last fifty years, having increased from
an average of 26.2 bushels for the five-year period 1891-1895 to 29.9
bushels for 1936-1940 (Fig. 1). For Illinois the yields for the
corresponding five-year periods were 30 bushels and 36.7 bushels
respectively.

BETTER VARIETIES A REASON FOR BETTER YIELDS

Seasonal conditions and varietal adaptation each play a very im-
portant part in determining acre-yields of farm crops. Growing
early-maturing varieties that are consistently good yielders has tended
to stabilize the acre production of oats at a high level over a period of




43



1936
1940



FIVE-YEAR PERIOD



Fig. 2. Oat yields at Urbana. Sixty-Day oats increased an average of 6.8
bushels an acre during this 36-year period (1905-1940), as shown by the
straight trend line, whereas the five other highest yielding varieties in-
creased 18 bushels, demonstrating what can be done in improving yields by
selection and breeding. The varieties in the highest yielding group changed,
of course, many times during this period as improvements were made.
(Data for 1906 are omitted because of irregularities in planting.)



1942} SPRING OAT VARIETIES FOR ILLINOIS 445

years. In years especially favorable for late oats early varieties fall
short of the long-season types in yield, but they more than make up
their losses in seasons unfavorable for the late varieties.

The effect that breeding and variety trials have had in increasing
oat yields can be seen by comparing the records of Sixty-Day and
other high-yielding varieties over the last forty-five years.

In the Southwest rotation, consisting of corn, oats, red clover, and
wheat, the variety Sixty-Day has been included during the entire
period. During the first five years Sixty-Day was tested it yielded an
average of 9 bushels an acre more than the average of the five other
best varieties (Fig. 2). During the next five years new early varieties
were developed and some of them were included in the tests. Im-
provement was so marked that at the end of the second five-year
period the average yield of the five highest varieties other than Sixty-
Day was a little more than that of Sixty-Day. At the end of the
forty-five-year period the five highest yielding varieties exceeded
Sixty-Day by 3.6 bushels an acre. This means that, using the yield of
Sixty-Day as a criterion, the five best varieties other than Sixty-Day
increased in yield 12.6 bushels during the forty-five years.

SOIL TREATMENT ON TEST FIELDS

DeKalb. The soil on the DeKalb field in northern Illinois consists
of a number of types all common to the region. The rotation has been
corn, corn, oats, and alsike clover, with soybeans substituting in years
when clover failed. For the past ten years the entire crop of alsike
clover and soybeans in this rotation has been plowed down for soil
enrichment. An application of rock phosphate has been made when
soil tests showed a need for phosphorus.

Mt. Morris. In 1941 oat variety tests in northern Illinois were
made immediately east of the soil experiment field at Mt. Morris. The
soil type is variable, consisting of different phases of Tama and Mus-
catine silt loams, and the land had received no fertilizer except light
and irregular applications of manure. As closely as circumstances per-
mitted, the rotation followed was corn, small grain, and clover-
timothy mixed.

Urbana. Oat variety tests at Urbana in central Illinois have been
conducted on Muscatine silt loam sqil in a rotation of corn, oats, red
clover or soybeans, and wheat. In the early years of the tests the
west side of half the plots received residues and rock phosphate; the
east side received residues, rock phosphate, and limestone. The west
side of the other half of the plots received manure and rock phosphate ;
the east side received manure, rock phosphate, and limestone. Begin-
ning in 1934 the residues have been omitted and manure substituted,



BULLETIN No. 481



[January,



so that all plots now receive essentially the same treatment except
that ground limestone is applied to the east half of the plots while
the west half receives no limestone.




Fig. 3. Fields where varieties were tested. Until 1941 the northern tests
were made at DeKalb; the 1941 oat crop was grown at Mt. Morris instead
of DeKalb.

Alhambra. The soil on the Alhambra field in southern Illinois is
Putnam silt loam with numerous "slick" spots. Oats are grown in a
rotation of corn, oats with sweet clover, soybeans, and wheat with
sweet clover. All plots have been fertilized with crop residues, ground
limestone, and rock phosphate.



METHODS OF CONDUCTING THE TESTS

Prior to 1940 the yield tests of spring oats at DeKalb and Alhambra
consisted of either duplicate % - or %-acre plots. At Urbana the plots
have been % acre in size and eight such plots were used for each
variety.

In 1940 and in 1941 six plots, either Y 35 or % acre in size, were



1942] SPRING OAT VARIETIES FOR ILLINOIS 447

used for each variety on all three of the above fields. When Mt.
Morris was substituted for DeKalb in 1941 only five plots of each
variety were grown. The arrangement of entries within each of the
test fields was strictly random.

The grain was seeded with an 8-inch disk drill. The rate of seed-
ing, except where a study of seeding rate was being made, was 8 pecks
an acre or as near to this as practicable.

The plots were harvested with a grain binder and threshed with a
standard 22-inch separator. Yield determinations on grain and straw
were based upon weights obtained at threshing time.

Grain yields of each variety have been compared with the average
yield of all varieties grown in the same years, and the different
varieties have been rated according to the amount by which they have
exceeded or have fallen below this average.

HIGHEST GRAIN-YIELDING VARIETIES

The records made by different varieties in the production of grain
are shown in Tables 1, 2, and 3. Only those varieties which have been
in the tests during the past twelve years have been included. For
varieties that have been in the tests for more than twelve years, all
previous yields have been included in calculating ratings but the earlier
annual yields are not shown in the tables. 1

Northern Illinois

On the DeKalb field in northern Illinois the ten highest yielding
varieties tested for three or more years during 1929-1941 are listed
below in the order of their rank compared with the average:

Bushels per acre Bushels per acre

above average above average

Marion (C.I. 3247) 10.5 Fort 3.1

lowar 6.1 Columbia 2.5

Albion 4.5 Kanota 2.5

Richland 3.6 Illinois 30-2088 2.1

Gopher 3.3 Wayne 2.1

Marion, a variety developed cooperatively by the U. S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture and the Iowa Experiment Station, is resistant to
stem rust and smut and moderately resistant to crown or leaf rust. It
is a white oat with a high test weight and a moderately stiff straw.
It matures about three days later than Sixty-Day.

lowar is a selection from Kherson made by the Iowa Station. It
is slightly later in maturing than Sixty-Day and has a straw some-
what taller and stiffer.



'For test yields immediately prior to 1929, see 111. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bui. 339,
pp. 21-50, 1929.



148






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452 BULLETIN No. 481 [January,

Albion, another selection made from Kherson by the Iowa Station,
is fully as early as Sixty-Day, which variety it resembles closely except
that it yields higher.

Richland was also selected from Kherson by the Iowa Station. It
is an early oat having a creamy white grain and a straw distinctly more
lodge-resistant than that of Sixty-Day. It is resistant to stem rust.

Gopher, a selection from Sixty-Day made by the Minnesota Station,
is a white oat with a comparatively stiff straw. It is slightly later than
Sixty- Day.

Fort is a selection from Sixty-Day made by the Illinois Station.
It resembles that variety in many respects and is not believed to be
distinctly superior even in yielding ability.

Columbia, a tannish-gray oat developed as a selection from
Fulghum by the Missouri Station, has a medium-stiff straw, matures
early, and produces grain with high test weight.

Kanota is a strain of Fulghum isolated by the Kansas Station. Its
grain has a bronze color. It matures early and is capable of enduring
unfavorable conditions associated with seeding earlier than normal.

Illinois 30-2088, a selection from a cross of Sixty-Day with a
Fulghum selection (Kansas 5396) was developed at the Illinois
Station. It resembles Columbia very closely in appearance, stiffness
of straw, time of maturity, and yielding ability in northern Illinois.

Wayne is a selection from a hybrid made by the Ohio Station. It
is a white oat which matures considerably later than Sixty-Day altho
somewhat earlier than Silvermine.

New strains selected out of Victoria X Richland show unusual
promise on the northern field on the basis of one and two years' tests.
In 1941 the seven selections tested produced an average yield of 59.4
bushels an acre, or 13 bushels more than Gopher, the highest yielding
old variety not resistant to rust.

Central Illinois

In central Illinois on the Urbana field the seven varieties leading
in yielding ability in tests made for three or more years during 1929-
1941 are the following:

Bushels per acre Bushels per acre

above average above average

Marion (C.I. 3247) 9.5 Gopher 4.0

Columbia 5.4 Markton X Rainbow (C.I.

Boone (C.I. 3305) 5.2 3341) 3.9

Kanota 4.7 Burt (C.I. 293) 3.9

Marion showed its superiority in central Illinois over varieties sus-
ceptible to rust in 1938 and also in 1941. In years when rust is not a
factor in determining yield, Marion will probably not be any better
than Columbia, which has a wide range of adaptation.



1942] SPRING OAT VARIETIES FOR ILLINOIS 453

Boone is a selection from a cross between Victoria and Richland
made by the U. S. Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the
Iowa Station. It is resistant to crown rust, black stem rust, and smut.
It has a short fairly stiff straw and produces grain that is of good
quality but has a slightly lower percentage of groats, or hull-free
kernels, than Marion.

Kanota, altho a high-yielding variety, will perhaps never replace
Columbia, which is not so seriously handicapped by late seeding.

Gopher yielded exceptionally well in 1940 when it gave 6 bushels
above the average.

Markton X Rainbow (C.I. 3341) is very similar to its sister strain,
Marion, both in appearance and in disease resistance but it probably
will never be distributed as a commercial variety in central Illinois
because it is somewhat lower yielding there than Marion.

Burt (C.I. 293) is a strain of the Burt oat having a reddish-
brown grain. It is very early, being especially suitable for late seeding.

As on the northern experiment field the new selections out of
Victoria X Richland have shown themselves to be extraordinarily well
suited during one or two years' tests.

Southern Illinois

In southern Illinois on the Alhambra field, the nine highest yield-
ing varieties tested three or more years during 1929-1941 are shown
below with the amount each has exceeded the average:

Bushels per acre Bushels per acre

above average above average

Brunker 6.6 Marion (C.I. 3247) 2.7

Columbia 3.3 lowar 2.5

Burt (C.I. 293) 3.1 Albion 2.3

Markton X Rainbow (C.I. Illinois 30-2088 2.3

3341) 3.1 Markton X Rainbow (C.I.

3342) 2.3

Because of the capacity of Brunker to yield well in dry seasons it
has a good record at Alhambra. However, it is not recommended for
growing in Illinois on account of its extreme susceptibility to lodging.

Considering yield, quality, and resistance to lodging, Columbia is
the best all-round oat variety for southern Illinois and will continue
to be until some of the new varieties demonstrate their superiority to it.

Burt (C.I. 293) is hardy and matures early enough to escape the heat
of midsummer. For this reason it is a consistent producer in this area.

Markton X Rainbow (C.I. 3341) and Marion are similar in plant
and kernel characteristics. Even tho C.I. 3341 has a yield record at
Alhambra slightly higher than that of Marion, the difference is not
believed to be significant.

In the main, varieties of oats with colored grain do best in the



454



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1942]



SPRING OAT VARIETIES FOR ILLINOIS



455



southern part of the state. lowar and Albion, which are white oats,
owe their favorable yield record in southern Illinois to their earliness.

HIGHEST STRAW-YIELDING VARIETIES

Frequently the straw produced by oats is as valuable as the grain.
Most of the varieties that are the highest producers of grain are
below average in yield of straw (Table 4). Of the ten best-yielding
grain varieties in northern Illinois, eight were below average in amount
of straw produced and only two varieties, Marion and Wayne,
exceeded the average in straw yield.

At Urbana only two of the seven leading grain varieties were
above average in straw yields; these were Marion and Markton X
Rainbow (C.I. 3341).

At Alhambra as many as seven of the nine varieties yielding the
most grain also produced more straw than average. They were
Brunker, Columbia, Markton X Rainbow (C.I. 3341), Marion, lowar,
and Illinois 30-2088. More of the high-yielding grain varieties at
Alhambra produced higher- than-ave rage yields of straw because the
straw yields are low on this field. Practically all the varieties grown
here are early varieties, and these yield less straw than the midseason
and late varieties.

GROATS YIELD OF SEVERAL VARIETIES

Altho weight per bushel is a fairly good basis for judging quality
in oats, it is considered less dependable than the percentage of meat,
or groats, which is perhaps the best measure of quality. Seemingly the



TABLE 5. PERCENTAGE OF GROATS AND WEIGHT PER BUSHEL FOR THIRTEEN OAT
VARIETIES GROWN AT URBANA DURING 1939-1941



Variety


Percentage of groats*


Weight per bushel


1939


1940


1941


Aver-
age


1939


1940


1941


Aver-
age


Boone (C.I. 3305)


N.

73.1
74.2
75.7
75.1
74.8
74.9
74.7
75.8
74.0
75.5
77.6
67.3
74.5

74.4


70.5

74.5
76.5
73.6
76.0
75.9
76.4
74.7
74.0
72.3
74.9
71.5
72.6

74.1


78.2
74.3
71.9
63.5
78.0
75.3
73.5
71.6
70.8
71.1
66.9
64.8
65.0

71.1


73.9
74.3
74.7
70.7
76.3
75.4
74.9
74.0
73.9
73.0
73.1
67.9
70.7

73.3


Ib.
31.5
31.0
29.5
28.5
30.5
32.8
32.0
31.0
31.3
27.8
28.3
26.3
29.0

30.0


Ib.
35.6
36.7
31.1
34.2
36.3
35.3
35.5
35.5
35.2
31.0
33.0
34.3
32.1

34.3


Ib.
31.6
30.0
26.3
24.7
31.3
30.4
30.6
28.7
28.0
25.2
25.7
22.5
24.9

27.7


Ib.
32.9
32.6
29.0
29.1
32.7
32.8
32.7
31.7
31.5
28.0
29.0
27.7
28.7

30.6


Columbia


Fort


Gopher


Hancock (C.I. 3346)


Illinois 30-2088


Marion (C.I. 3247)


Markton X Rainbow (C.I. 3341)


Markton X Rainbow (C.I. 3342)


Rustless


Sixty- Day


Swedish Star


Vanguard


Average





Percentage of hull can be determined by subtracting the percentage of groats from 100.



456



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458



BULLETIN No. 481



[January,



hull tends to lie closer to the kernel in some varieties than in others.
When the kernel fits tightly in the hull and there is no air space be-
tween, the oats will weigh high and yet they may not possess high feed-
ing value. For purposes of comparison both the average percentage of

TABLE 6. PERCENTAGE OF GROATS IN SEVEN VARIETIES OF OATS WHEN GROWN IN

NORTHERN, CENTRAL, AND SOUTHERN ILLINOIS DURING 1939-1941
(Varieties arranged in order of highest average groats percentage for the year)



Variety



Northern

Illinois
(DeKalb)



Central

Illinois

(Urbana)



Southern

Illinois
(Aihambra)



Average



1939



Illinois 30-2088 75 . 4

Sixty-Day 74.9

Columbia 76.4

Fort 75 . 7

Marion (C.I. 3247) 73.9

Gopher 72.2

MarktonX Rainbow (C.I. 3342) 70.8

Average 74 . 2

1940

Marion (C.I. 3247) 77.0


1 3

Online LibraryGeorge Harlan DunganSpring oats varieties for Illinois → online text (page 1 of 3)