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U of M releases new oat variety MN-Pearl

‘MN-Pearl’ oat is the latest variety from the
University of Minnesota’s oat breeding program
and was developed in collaboration with the
University of Saskatchewan. A high-yielding variety,
MN-Pearl’s name reflects its pearly-white hull,
a trait often desired by millers.
The University of Minnesota (UMN), in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan, has released a new white hull oat variety called ‘MN-Pearl.’ MN-Pearl is a high-yielding variety with good straw strength and high groat percentage. It also has good overall disease resistance including moderate crown rust resistance and excellent smut resistance.

“In state trials MN-Pearl established itself as a late-maturing, high-yielding variety with good overall disease resistance,” said Kevin Smith UMN oat breeder, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. “In particular, MN-Pearl has excellent smut resistance, thus continuing the University’s tradition of releasing oat varieties that do not require chemical seed treatment to protect them from this disease.”

The new variety was bred as part of the collaborative oat-evaluation program established by longtime UMN oat breeder Deon Stuthman, who retired in 2009, and Brian Rossnagel, who led the oat and barley breeding program at the Crop Development Centre in Saskatchewan until his retirement in 2011. For many years the two programs exchanged and evaluated a number of breeding lines with a simple handshake between the breeders as an agreement to share in the release of any varieties arising from those exchanges.

"MN-Pearl is the result of good old-fashioned plant breeder collaboration via simple germplasm exchange and sharing,” said Brian Rossnagel. "I am very pleased that our two institutions have, with the ongoing assistance of our colleague Howard Rines, honored that handshake between Stuthman and myself as we were not only colleagues but good friends. Let's hope that MN-Pearl serves oat growers as well as our collaboration has."

“MN-Pearl is truly a white-seed version of another popular oat variety, Deon,” said Jochum Wiersma, Extension Professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and an Extension Agronomist. “Growers should expect similar maturity, protein, yield and disease resistance from this new option.”

MN-Pearl joins UMN release Deon (2012) as a variety offering a good combination of characteristics that performs well across the upper Midwest. The new variety’s name reflects its pearly-white hull, a trait that is often sought after by millers.

More detailed performance data and comparisons of previously released varieties can be found on the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station website at Prior to being formally named, MN-Pearl was tested as MN11211.

2019 Field Days and On-Farm Trials

MN-Pearl plantings can be previewed July 17 during Crops and Soils Day at the University’s Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) in Crookston, MN. Plots of MN-Pearl and competing varieties are also at on-farm trials at the following Minnesota sites, with two-hour tours scheduled for the days listed.
  • Rochester, June 24, 1:00pm (GPS 44.023382, -92.341649)
  • LeCenter, June 25, 1:00 pm (GPS 44.457669, -93.676844)
  • Marty/Kimball, June 26, 1:00 pm (GPS 45.390100, -94.309243)
  • Fergus Falls, July 9, 9:00 am (GPS 46.094802, -96.174936)
University of Minnesota experts will provide information relevant to the current growing season and answer questions. Bring samples from your fields for diagnosis and discussion.

Seed Availability

MN-Pearl seed will be distributed through Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) members for planting in spring 2020. Visit the MCIA website——where a list of Certified seed producers will be available in September. Or contact MCIA at 1-800-510-6242.


Researchers in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota have been evaluating and developing oat varieties since 1889. Evaluation and breeding is supported in part by funding from USDA-NIFA and the Small Grain’s Initiative and administered by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.


Shelly Gustafson, Communications Specialist, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station,, 612-625-2741.

Kevin Smith, University of Minnesota barley, oat and silphium breeder, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics,, 612-624-1211

Jochum Wiersma, University of Minnesota Extension Agronomist, Northwest Research and Outreach Center,, 218-281-8629, Cell: 218-280-0123

Roger Wippler, Minnesota Crop Improvement Association,, 1-800-510-6242
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