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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

The Ruakura Rust-Proof Oat

The Ruakura Rust-Proof Oat.

I now come to an achievement in plant breeding that can be credited to this State institution, which ought to rejoice the soul of our friend the "practical" farmer. For in this instance something has been done the value of which can be counted up is pounds, shillings and pence. I refer to the production of a variety of oats which so far has proved absolutely resistant to the disease known as "rust." This variety was raised from one plant grown from selected seed Four years ago Mr Green selected a single head of oats from a field of this grain. From amongst the plants raised from the seed of this single head one plant was selected as appearing quite free from "rust" or "smut" page 15 This season there was enough seed to sow five acres, and when I saw the crop it was about ready for harvesting, and was absolutely free from rust or smut. These oats were growing alongside other oats showing plenty of rust, even some Algerians not being quite free from it. Such a test must be a convincing one, proving that a variety of oats has been produced by careful selection at Ruakura which is proof against this pernicious fungoid disease. The loss to growers through rust in oats has been very great in the past ten or twelve years, when almost any kind but Algerians was grown.