Hampshire farmer Richard Monk and Gemma Clarke of Cope Seeds in a crop of Merlin spring oats.

Merlin spring oats will be available exclusively from UK agent Cope Seeds and Grain for spring 2022.

Said to deliver an unrivalled combination of yield, quality, agronomic features and disease resistance, Merlin’s trial results are so good that seed production has been fast-tracked.

According to Cope Seeds and Grain managing director Gemma Clarke, Merlin is a standout oat for UK farmers and millers.

“The variety is suited to all regions in the UK and because of its early maturity,” she added. “It will do well in wetter climates and the North of the country, where maturity is vital. It delivers consistency and quality to millers, due to its high specific weight, high kernel content and extremely low screening losses.

“It was the highest yielding variety with the lowest screenings of any oat in trials, and performs exceptionally well when grown organically or conventionally with the best standing score of 9.

“Also, for farmers looking to farm more environmentally with less inputs, Merlin has exceptional disease resistance scores with a mildew score of 8.”

Hampshire arable farmer Richard Monk has seen impressive results with Merlin spring oats.

“It established well and has strong disease resistance,” he said. “It was harvested on August 22, and despite the catchy weather at the time, it was standing well and combined easily.

“The yield was 69t from 9.3ha and the germination was sound. This was a better yield than other spring oats we were growing, so I’m optimistic that Merlin will be a good variety to grow as it becomes more widely available and approved by the millers.

“We’ll be growing a bigger area for 2021 harvest.”

Merlin spring oats will be available from seed merchants from Spring 2022.