Oats: The Allrounder

Oats have experienced a renaissance in cultivation and consumption in recent years. Until the 1950s, oats were very important in cultivation, mainly as fodder for draught horses. With the mechanisation of agriculture, draught animals and thus oats lost their importance and the area under cultivation declined sharply.

Today, oats are grown for the production of flakes, cereal mixtures and plant drinks and have regained importance. However, the focus is on the production of food and no longer on feed, although oats are still grown for horse feed today.

Oats must fulfil certain quality characteristics depending on their intended use. On the one hand, this is the hl weight, which provides information about the size of the grains. This is essential for the production of flakes. Large grains = large flakes. Oats for flake production should have hl weights of over 54 kg, but at least 52 kg.

The fat content is another parameter that varies depending on the growing region and variety. Oats from Ireland and the United Kingdom, for example, have a higher fat content than oats from Scandinavian countries and northern Germany. The hullability of the oats also plays a role for the mills.

In Europe, oats are a summer crop, sown in spring and harvested in summer. This means that oats fit into the crop rotations that have now been extended again in arable farming. This simplifies weed control and enables the integration of catch crops.

In the Scandinavian countries, oats have always been very important due to the short growing season (summer harvest). To this day, high-quality oats are imported from Finland and Sweden for processing in Western Europe and Germany. Stable, dry weather in the weeks before harvest is favourable for the quality of the oats and reduces the risk for the farmer. A continental climate is therefore suitable for growing oats. In addition to Finland and Sweden, the Baltic states and Poland are therefore also origins for oats. The growing market for “oat drinks” as a milk substitute has given oats a boost in recent years, in addition to the trend towards a healthy diet. The factories process hulled and flaked oats, which is why the mills process additional oats for this industry.

Grainli® is active in all European oat-growing regions and offer customised qualities and logistics from the regions.

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