Four new oat varieties bred at Aberystwyth University have received top level approval after being recommended to farmers by the government’s industry board.

The Plant Varieties and Seeds Gazette, a statutory government body, publishes an approved UK list of seeds to assist farmers and growers to select the best varieties.

Developed by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, the new spring husked oat Nova, winter naked oat Avalon, and winter husked oats Rannoch and Harris have been added to the Gazette for 2024 due to their high yield and grain quality characteristics.

Nova is a high yielding high quality spring husked oat with excellent disease resistance.

Nova, Rannoch and Avalon have also been entered into the first year of Recommended List trials.

Varieties of oats bred at Aberystwyth University make up over 80 per cent of the winter market in the United Kingdom.

Dr Catherine Howarth from IBERS at Aberystwyth University, explained what this latest approval from a UK-wide recognised institution meant to researchers.

Dr Howarth said: “This is a significant achievement.

“It’s a real feather in the cap for us that these new varieties have made it onto the National List. Developing new oat varieties can take up to 15 years, and this latest recognition is a tribute to all the hard work of the team here.

“Oats offer clear benefits to human health, including lowering cholesterol. It’s also an attractive crop in Wales and the rest of the UK.”

“IBERS scientists’ work on resilience to pests and diseases, higher nutritional content and the crop’s ability to thrive in a changing climate has a long and distinguished history of success in getting varieties onto the National List. We’re privileged to be able to continue that tradition.”

IBERS, situated on the outskirts of Penrhyncoch near Aberystwyth, is an internationally-recognised research and teaching centre providing a unique base for research in response to global challenges such as food security, bioenergy and sustainability, and the impacts of climate change.

IBERS' scientists conduct research on genes and molecules, whole organisms and the environment.