Growing Oats Protects the Soil in Canada
Oats provide excellent soil erosion control. In Canada, many areas of our supplies are planted with zero tillage, a way of growing crops from year to year without disturbing the soil through excessive use of cultivation practices. Advancements in machinery technology and weed control chemicals have made zero tillage a viable farmer practice that promotes soil, water and wind erosion reductions.
Oats have an extremely fibrous and prolific root system similar to, and in some cases, better than wheat and barley. Many farmers use oats in areas with soil erosion risks from other crops to control further damage and help stabilize the soil. The extensive root system of oats enables the crop to efficiently utilize available nutrients in the soil, resulting in a lower requirement for applied fertilizers than many other crops. Other than weed control, few to no chemical additives are required to grow oats, because the crop is resistant to many soil-borne diseases.
Compared to other crops including wheat, rice, corn and soy, oats serve as a premier rotation crop, and the straw and crop residues returned to the soil are viewed as good sources of crop nutrients. In addition, Quaker Oats’ grains are grown from a select group of varieties that have been bred from a diverse germplasm to assure high productivity and optimal nutritional content.