Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 10:00 AM

Evaluation of Black Oat (Avena strigosa Shreb.) Germplasm.

Thomas Antony and Edzard van Santen. Auburn University, Dept. of Agronomy and Soils, 202 Funchess Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849-5412

            Recently black oat (Avena strigosa Shreb.) has become an important cover crop in subtropical and temperate regions of the world due to its potential for high biomass yield, ability in suppressing weeds effectively, improvement of soil nutrient content, and ease of establishment. SoilSaver which was released by Auburn University and USDA in 2002 is the only commercially available black oat cultivar in USA. Even though 104 black oat accessions are available in USA, no studies were conducted so far to evaluate the morphological characteristics and maturity of those accessions. A two year study was conducted at Auburn University for the characterization of the entire USDA-GRIN Avena strigosa Schreb. germplasm collection based on maturity, morphology, cold tolerance and molecular markers. We have conducted two trials for 1) grain yield and morphological traits, and 2) biomass yield and cold tolerance. The preliminary results showed that the heading dates range from January to mid-May. Six of the 18 selections tested in the biomass trial survived freezing temperatures in December 2004 and January 2005.  The grain yields were as high as 45 bu/ acre-1 and biomass yields were as high as   13.5 Mg ha-1.