Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
On Raising Improved Varieties of
By Mr Peter Archibald,
Champfleurie, near Linlithgow.
[Premium, Silver medal.]
On practical experience for
four years, I find it consistent to nature, that improved varieties of
oats may be obtained from amongst the crops of oats sown in the fields.
They may be gendered by
impregnation by different kinds of oats sown in the same field, or sown in
fields adjoining to one another, where the pollen may be carried by the
action of the wind.
From the beginning of
August 1841, I collected 25 distinct varieties of oats, from amongst the
fields of oats in their progress towards ripening, all of them differing
from the crops sown in the same fields.
Out of the 25 specimens I
selected 8 for culture; and from them I make this report.
Names of the Oats
1 Hangingside or yellow
2 Blue early
3 Hopetoun brown
5 Small fly
7 White wild
8 King's Cavel
April 1842.Having but a
few seeds of each kind, I sowed them on a small patch of ground in my
garden. The blue oat was first ripe, the fly next, the Hopetoun brown
third; the Hangingside rather later than any of the others. All produced
good grain and straw; but owing to the small quantity of seed, and the
soil not being of good quality, I could not decide on their good or bad
qualities the first year.
April 2, 1843.I sowed the
same eight kinds of oats on a north situation, after turnips. The manure
used for the turnip crop was dung from the court-yard. They followed one
another in nearly the same order of ripening, as in the preceding year,
only the Hangingside was some days earlier, and of very fine grain and
straw. I cut them all on the last week of August and the first one of
April 6th, 1844.- Sowed
them for the third season on a"piece Of ground after lea. Sowed the seeds
in drills, from four to five inches between. This field not being in a
high state of culture, with a north situation, and cold loamy soil, it
afforded me an opportunity of observing which would answer best on such a
soil. The blue oat throve best both in grain and straw, and was first
ripe. I consider it a profitable oat, as it seems to do well on poor and
late soils, and is very prolific, and yields fine straw, though its grain
is not of fine quality. The white wild oat did also remarkably well on the
same ground. The Hangingside did very well as to grain, hut was a little
deficient in straw. The other five kinds lost both in grain and straw.
They were all cut in the last week of August.
March 1845.On the last
week of this month I sowed all the eight kinds, for the fourth season, in
drills across the ridges, on part of a field after turnips; the manure for
the turnip crop being from the court-yard. The rest of this field was sown
with the early Angus oat. Its situation is partly south and north, in a
high state of culture, and drained in every furrow. At the same time I
sowed a little of the Hopetoun oat, and early red oat, along with my own
eight varieties, that I might better judge of them with other well-known
As spring 1845 was a very
severe one for the vegetation of seeds, for some time after the braird
came above ground, in consequence of the cold rains and frosty atmosphere,
I paid every attention to their progress in growth for two months.
The Hangingside or Yellow
Oat had always the advantage over the other kinds in the brairding season,
the plants having a strong, dark, healthy appearance ; it appears to be a
very hardy oat, and productive in grain. It requires a strong dry soil to
bring it to maturity, and ripens nearly with the Hopetoun.
The Blue Early Oat is a
very free grower, and by what I have seen of it, is well adapted for the
worst of soils, yielding abundance of straw and fine oats for horses.
Ripens with the early Angus oat Hopetoun Brown Oat.A very prolific
bearer, and yields strong straw ; has a great resemblance to the old
Hopetoun oat, and ripens with it.
Champfleurie OatYields a
fine straw, though a little deficient in grain in comparison with the
The Small Fly Oat is a good
bearer, and appears to do well on light soil, but is liable to shake
before being perfectly ripe. I always cut it when it has the appearance of
being half ripe; it grows fine straw.
Peter's Oat yields most
excellent grain, and strong straw It requires to be grown on strong,
loamy, and well manured soil to bring it to perfection. Ripens with the
White Wild Oat yields very
fine straw, and appears to do well on poor light soils, and is early. The
grain of this oat is of coarse quality.
King's Cavel Oat is very
like red oat in the grain, but was four days longer in ripening, and
requires a dry early situation to bring it to full perfection.
Red Oat is earlier in
ripening than any of the kinds I have mentioned, but very deficient in
grain and straw to any of them.
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